What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Have?

 

After a couple’s divorce, everyone is affected. As grandparents, the divorce shouldn’t have to take you away from your grandchildren. You likely have visitation rights that will allow you to continue a relationship with your grandchildren. Often visitation rights are discussed when the child’s parents pass or if they are separated from their parents.

 

US Supreme Court’ Decision on Grandparent Visitation

Parents have the legal rights to make decisions affecting the lives of their children. However, some complications occur when discussing the visitation rights of other parties to their children. Sometimes the court must decide whether someone has rights to visitation and whether it will affect the wellbeing of the child in question.

 

Conditions of Visitation

A grandparent must meet a few requirements in order to be awarded visitation by the court. The parents of the child and their marital status may affect that decision.

  • If the grandparents housed the child at any period of time, the marital status of the children’s parents may matter.
  • Marital status of child’s parents may matter in some states if the grandparents were denied visitation.
  • The grandparent may be awarded visitation or custody if the children’s parents die.

Adoption of Grandchildren

If the child is adopted after the loss or separation from their parents, a grandparent’s visitation rights will certainly be affected. All these scenarios vary by state regulations.

 

  1. Biological grandparents may lose visitation if the child is adopted in the family.
  2. If one grandparent adopts a grandchild, then another grandparents’ visitation may or my not be affected.
  3. If the child is adopted outside of the family, a grandparent’s visitation will likely be affected.

 

Ruling Guidelines Considering Grandparent Visitation

 

The courts must consider many factors when discussing grandparents’ visitation rights. Of course, the most significant factor is the best interests of the child. There are some common issues regarding these visitation requirements.

  1. Ability to provide love and affection
  2. Ability of the child to act in their best interest.
  3. How is the relationship between grandparent and grandchild?
  4. Possibility of an abusive relationship and type of abuse.
  5. If the parents and grandparents want visitation to be allowed.
  6. The possibility of narcotic or alcohol abuse by parent and/or grandparent.
  7. Geographical distance between all the parties: child, parent and grandparent.

 

If you want to further understand your rights as a grandparent, hire a family law attorney such as the such as the child custody lawyer Bloomington IL locals trust to make all the legal guides above more clear. If your visitation is allowed by your state of residence, you may have a lawyer petition the court for your visitation rights.

 

Thanks to author Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into Family Law.