Illinois grandparents’ rights case moves toward resolution
Grandparents’ rights can be a complicated aspect of a child custody dispute in Illinois, particularly when each side is expressing intense emotions regarding the matter. Since child custody can be contentious with accusations and allegations from both sides — particularly if one of the parents has died — it is exceedingly important for the participants to have assistance from a legal professional to protect their rights, maintain a relationship with children and protect all parties.
An ongoing case between a woman and the parents of her late husband resulted in a decision from the judge that the mother will not get custody of the child for now. The dispute is between the woman and the family of her husband who had been murdered by the woman’s grandmother. Initially, the court gave custody to the father’s parents, but the mother took the child and went to Florida. The woman was found in Massachusetts in September. She was subsequently extradited back to Illinois with the child staying with the father’s family. The hearing that was held in late-December was to decide if the daughter was neglected by the mother.
The judge determined that neglect had taken place. The child will remain in the custody of her paternal aunt for the time being. Initially, the case was expected to be about custody, but that changed when the mother left with the child. The judge stated that the case is heading towards the mother regaining custody. The judge also stated that there must be commitment on the part of the mother to provide visitation to the paternal family. For their part, the paternal family is concerned that the mother will flee again rather than give them visitation. As of now, the mother has visitation with the child twice per week until the next hearing. The mother is also supposed to receive counseling.
This particular case is complex in the issues that spurred it, but when breaking it down, it is not all that different from any other difficult child custody dispute. Those who are ending a relationship and are concerned about custody of a child should be cognizant of the law and the numerous factors that go into the case’s outcome. Discussing the matter with an attorney can help with the entire process.
Source: foxillinois.com, “Judge Temporarily Denies Custody To Jennifer Watkins,” Esther Kwon, Dec. 29, 2016