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For parents who are getting a divorce, often times, the parties who are most affected by the divorce are not the adults but are instead any children involved. This statement is even more true when siblings of a divorce are separated, with one sibling living with one parent, and the other living with the other parent. It can also be difficult for a minor child to live with one parent, and for an adult sibling (18 years of age or old) to be denied visitations rights with the minor child.

When a divorce presents a question regarding the rights of siblings to visit with one another, working with a qualified lawyer is recommended. Consider the following about sibling visitation in Illinois and call our experienced family law attorneys for counsel that is specific to your situation.

Minor Children and Custody and Visitation

When the children involved in a custody or parental allocation determination are both minor children, the court may issue a decision that encourages the relationship between the children to be maintained. The court issues custody decisions that are within the best interests of children involved. In fact, unless extenuating circumstances exist that make doing so inappropriate, minor children are usually kept together in a custody determination.

Minor Child and Adult Sibling

Where things can get more complicated is in the event that an adult sibling is being denied visitation with a minor child. When this is the case, the adult sibling maintains the right to petition the court for visitation rights so long as at least one parent does not object to the visitation, and so long as the visitation will not infringe on the parents’ rights. (A sibling can also file a petition for visitation if one of the parents is dead or has been declared missing, if one of the parents has been deemed incompetent, or if the child is born out of wedlock and the parents are not living together.)

What the Court Considers

If an adult sibling petitions the court for visitation with their brother or sister who is a minor, the court will issue a decision based on a number of factors, most importantly being whether or not visitation is within the minor child’s best interests. The court may consider the relationship that exists between the siblings, the child’s mental health, the preferences of the child, the impact that the adult sibling has had on the child’s life, and more. In many cases, the court finds that preserving the relationship between a child and another family member is preferred; of course, there are always exceptions to this.

How Our Naperville Lawyers Can Help

At the office of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our Illinois family law attorneys believe that the relationship between siblings is very important. If you have been denied visitation with your minor sibling, call our firm. You may have the right to petition the court for visitation, and our team can help. Reach us today online or by phone to get started.