Virtual visitation has become a thing for noncustodial parents. But how does that bode for Illinois grandparents who aren’t close to their grandchildren distance-wise? This type of visitation — also known in family law as e-visitation, electronic visitation or visual visitation — can work well for grandparents who want to maintain relationships with the grandchildren. In fact, grandparents can seek this type of visitation in court.
Grandparents should understand, however, that if a court is unlikely to grant them face-to-face visitation with their grandchildren, virtual visitation would likely not be an option. But if the court sees fit, it could grant long distance grandparents the right to visit with their grandchildren online. Grandparents who do go to court to secure the right to see their grandchildren and would like virtual visitation as an option should stipulate that.
Illinois is one of six states that has addressed formal virtual visitation for parents, and it is in these states that grandparents might have a better chance of being granted the same. If the court grants grandparents e-visitation, they may have to take action to get the visitation enforced should a custodial parent make it difficult. Also, grandparents should know that there is little privacy when it comes to virtual visitation since a parent is likely to be near the screen or by any device being used.
Grandparents do have rights under family law in Illinois. They can be an integral part in a child’s overall well-being. The law wants what is in the best interests of children and that may mean having a relationship with their grandparents. A lawyer may be able to answer any questions a client may have on visitation with a child.