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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).

For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (312) 757-8082 now!

The specific reasons why a court may award parental responsibility to someone other than the biological parents are varied. It can be caused by an extreme financial hardship or something more serious, such as a parents 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.

Are you ready to move forward? Call (312) 757-8082 to schedule a strategy session with one of our attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

What rights do stepparents have in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, stepparents are able to request visitation if their spouse (the parent of the child) dies. Otherwise, it is assumed that the stepparent will see their child at their spouse’s placement times.

What are the different types of child custody in Illinois?

In Illinois, the two main types of custody are 50/50 custody and sole custody. In 50/50 custody, both parents spend time with and have decision-making rights over the child. In sole custody, one parent makes the decisions for the child, and the other parent may or may not have parenting time with the child.

Does guardianship override parental rights in Illinois?

If someone has guardianship of a child and their biological parents want to pursue their custodial rights, they can do that. Guardianship also doesn’t prevent grandparents from pursuing legal action to see the child either.

How do I get guardianship of my child without going to court in Illinois?

You have to go to court to get guardianship of a child. If you want parenting time or parenting responsibilities of your biological child, you also have to go to court to get that. If you are not the parent that gave birth to the child, then you need to establish paternity before getting a custody order.

How long does temporary guardianship last in Illinois?

Temporary guardianship lasts 60 days in Illinois. It is not meant to be a long-term solution. Rather, it is only meant to ensure that the person who needs a guardian gets immediate help.

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