When many people think about their childhoods, they have fond memories of time spent with their grandparents. For some children, those memories are missing, not because their grandparent passed away but because their parents kept them away from their grandparents.
Being kept away from their grandchildren is a nightmare for many grandparents. In some cases, a grandparent might have a claim to grandparent rights. This might help the grandparents to be involved in their grandchild’s life.
Grandparents’ rights are awarded by the court only if they are in the child’s best interests. This is the main point of these cases. In addition, other circumstances must be present if the grandparents will be awarded rights by the court.
One thing that can ban grandparents from seeking visitation with a grandchild is adoption by a third party. Adoption by a stepparent won’t prevent the grandparent from having visitation rights, but any other adoption can.
Typically, the child’s parents must be divorced, one must be deceased or legal custody without an adoption must have been awarded to a third party if the grandparent’s petition is going to be valid. Deciding how to handle the claim if one of these is present can help grandparents to decide what to do.
It is imperative that any grandparent who wants to take this sort of action understands exactly what the law says about their rights. They should also weigh how the pursuit of legal rights is going to further impact their relationship with the child’s parent. In some cases, trying to work things out one-on-one with the child’s parent might be a better option than heading to court.
Source: FindLaw, “Summaries of State Law: Grandparent Visitation and Custody,” accessed April 14, 2017