The child’s father died. His ex-wife refused to let father’s civil union partner see the child any longer. Father’s civil union partner filed a petition for visitation and allocation of parental responsibilities as the child’s step-parent. The Trial Court and the Appellate Court denied relief to the civil partner. The civil partner appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Trial Court and Appellate Court’s decisions. The case was sent back to the Trial Court.

A civil union partner is a “step-parent” as defined by the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act’s provisions. Step-parents are granted standing to seek visitation and parental responsibilities of their step-children.

Sharpe v. Westmoreland, 2020 IL 124863 (September 24, 2020), reversed and remanded.