A Stepparent's Right to Petition for Custody


The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is the basis for petitioning for child custody proceedings in Illinois. The Act includes the expected statutes about child custody matters in case of dissolution or invalidation of marriage, as well as the statutes governing a case of a parent petitioning for custody in the county where he is permanently resident or found. There are, however, less common situations that the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act talks about.

One of these statutes is the right of a stepparent to file a petition for custody under certain conditions. The conditions include all of the following:

  1. the child is at least 12 years old;
  2. the custodial parent and stepparent were married for a minimum of 5 years during which the child lived with the parent and stepparent;
  3. the custodial parent is dead or is disabled beyond being capable of performing the duties of a parent to the child;
  4. prior to the initiation of custody proceedings, the stepparent provided for the care, control, and welfare to the child;
  5. the child wishes to live with the stepparent;
  6. it is allegedly in the childs best interests and welfare of the child to reside with the stepparent.

This is of course just a brief summary of the Act, and when facing an actual custody proceeding, you should immediately contact a skilled family lawyer in Naperville. Family law is as complicated as any other, and it is in your best interests and the best interests of your child to make sure you have qualified legal assistance. Do not hesitate to ask for help, and contact our experienced Naperville family attorneys to provide you with expert legal advice.

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