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Grandparents Can Obtain Custody

New Illinois Custody Law:  Grandparents Can Obtain Custody


This blog is focused on the new custody law enacted in the state of Illinois and affecting Palatine, Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows.  Per amended custody law 750 ILCS5/601, under circumstances in the new law, grandparents can obtain custody of a minor child in Illinois.  This law goes into effect on January 1, 2015 and has many significant changes that were not part of the old custody law.

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


A grand parent 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 for a grand parent to obtain custody.  Then, at least one of the remaining  conditions must be met.  This provision appears to be much harder to fulfill for a grand-parent 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 for a grand parent to petition the court to obtain custody of a minor child.


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