Third Party Custody in Illinois
Protecting the child’s best interests when neither parent can appropriately raise a child
Though fairly rare, there are cases where custody, known as “parental responsibility” in the new law passed in 2016, is given to neither biological parent. As you can imagine, this is not a typical scenario, and often happens when parents don’t want to take care of their child or are incapable. In cases where the parents willingly give over responsibility for the child to a grandparent, those guardians can petition for custody of the child. There are also a specific set of circumstances where parental responsibility may be given to a step-parent (one of which is that the child has to want to live with them).
The specific reasons why a court may award parental responsibility to someone other than the biological parents are varied. It can be extreme financial hardship, or something more serious such as a parent having a history of criminal activity or substance abuse. Either way, these decisions are not made lightly and are always done with the child’s best interest in mind.
An important thing to keep in mind, as with grandparents and biological parents, having a blood-relation to the child will never grant you automatic responsibility for them. These cases always must be won in court, and if you are trying to take custody of a child that is not biologically yours, it is always best to consult an attorney.
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