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Grandparent Custody: New Illinois Custody Law

Grandparent Custody: New Illinois Custody Law

Per amended custody law 750 ILCS5/601

There is a new Illinois custody law allowing a grandparent custody of a minor child, affecting divorce and custody cases in Palatine, Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows and all other areas in Illinois. This law went into effect on January 1, 2016 and has many significant amendments that were not part of the old custody law.

Grandparent Custody: Conditions That Must Be Met

A key change to the law is found in 750 ILCS 5/601.2(b)(5).  A subparagraph of section 601 allows a grandparent custody of a minor child under certain circumstances.

First, a grandparent can obtain custody of the minor child, if and only if, one of the parents is deceased.  That is a condition that must be met in order to grant a grandparent custody.  Then, at least one of the remaining conditions must be met.

In detail, this sub paragraph of Section 601 allows for a grandparent to obtain custody. Under this new law:

“A proceeding for allocation of parental responsibilities with respect to a child is commenced in the court:

(4) When one of the parents is deceased, by a grandparent who is a parent or step-parent of a deceased parent, by filing a petition, if one or more of the following existed at the time of the parent’s death:

(A)  The surviving parent had been absent from the marital abode for more than one month without the spouse knowing his or her whereabouts;

(B)  the surviving parent was in State or Federal custody; or

(C ) the surviving parent had (i) received supervision for or been convicted of any violation (assorted code sections of the Illinois Criminal Code) directed towards deceased parent or the child; or (ii) received supervision or been convicted of violating an order of protection entered under section 217, 218 or 219 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 for the protection of the deceased parent or the child."


This provision appears to be much harder to fulfill for a grandparent to obtain custody than a step-parent if we were to compare this sub-section to the sub-section of the previous blog.  However, it appears that a divorce proceeding need not be filed in order to petition the court for grandparent custody of a minor child.

Learn how Jim Kelly can help you with your family law cases such as divorce, custody and visitation in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and surrounding areas.  Contact The Law Offices of James M. Kelly at 847-202-1616 to schedule a free initial consultation.


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