Unlike in the past, grandparent visitation rights are now recognized in all states. These visitation rights typically come to light when a child’s parents die or when a child is put under foster care or adopted.
The Supreme Court Ruling on Grandparent Visitation Rights
In the case of Troxel v. Granville, grandparents filed a petition to seek visitation rights after the mother of their grandchild only allowed them to visit the child once a month and selected holidays. The US Supreme Court declared the Washington statute violated Granville’s parenting rights. The ruling didn’t declare visitations laws unconstitutional, so third party petitioners still have a right to petition courts for visitation rights. But after the ruling in Troxel, a lot of courts will decide if a parent’s decision on granting visitation serves is good for the child.
Conditions for Awarding Visitation to Grandparents
Before a grandparent is awarded visitation rights, the court will look at the marital status of the parents. Some states consider the parents’ marital status if the grandparents have been stopped from seeing their grandchildren. Other states look at the parents’ marital status if the grandchild resided with the grandparents for a certain amount of time. Some states may grant a grandparent visitation rights if one of the parents have died.
How do Grandparents Ask for Visitation?
If grandparents wish to have visitation with their grandchild, they must first file a petition in court. While it’s possible for them to do this on their own, it’s recommend to hire an experienced family attorney. The court system is complex, and it helps to work with someone with knowledge and experience.
Once the court rules on your petition, the judge will sign an order either granting or denying you visitation rights.
What Considerations Does the Court Make When Granting Custody?
When deciding on whether to grant custody or not, the court takes the child’s best interest into consideration.Here are some of the factors the court looks at when determining a child’s best interest:
- The ability of a parent or grandparent to show child love and affection
- Proof of physical or emotional abuse by parents or grandparents
- The strength and length of the relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild
- How far the child lives away from their parents or grandparents
If you are seeking visitation rights for your grandchild, you may want to consult with a family lawyer such as the family lawyer Arizona locals trust as soon as possible.
A special thanks to our authors at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Family Law.