Family Law Lawyers
Generally, Grandparents will have a bond with their grandchildren and play an important part in their lives according to a child visitation lawyer from our friends at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. When Grandparents have a close relationship with their grandchildren, it benefits both parties. Grandparents can give advice, words of wisdom, love, and stability and teach culture and traditions. Grandparents also provide their grandchild with a stable environment. Some grandparents may desire to advance their relationship with their grandchild and want to take a further step to improve it. However, in some cases, some parents do not want their parents to be involved with their grandchild’s life. The court further upholds this because visitation isn’t granted without a court order.
What is Grandparent Visitation?
Grandparent visitation is the legal right for a grandparent to have contact with their grandchildren. In some states, grandparents aren’t automatically given visitation rights to their grandchildren. However, even with your rights as a grandparent might be restricted under state law, it doesn’t mean you have no legal rights. Grandparents who want to have contact with their grandchildren would have to petition for visitation. Grandparents can do this by requesting access to their grandchild under certain laws. Still, even with petitioning, it isn’t guaranteed that the court will grant the request. For the court to reward the petition, the grandparents have to provide a reason that is best suited for the interest of the child. The statute will allow visitation if the parents are divorced; the parents have been found incompetent in taking care of their kids; the kids have been staying at the grandparent’s residence for a certain amount of time, or the parents are in jail. There is also a possibility for obtaining custody in some situations. If your grandchild has been living with you for several months, you could wish to seek custody. Or, in some instances, if your grandchild’s parents have lost their parental rights, you can apply for custody within the first 90 days of the termination.
Why are grandparents’ rights so restrictive?
In the 2000s, the United States supreme court case, Troxel v. Granville, ruled that grandparents’ rights should be restricted. The case was ruled in this way to fit what was in the best interest of the child. This allows the court to decide who is permitted visitation to a child, even if they’re blood.
How do you qualify for the request for grandparents’ visitation rights?
To qualify for the request, the grandparent must be the parent of the person with primary custody of the child. The only circumstances that allow for grandparent visitation are the following: if at least one of the guardians of the child has not had their parental rights terminated; it is in the best interest for the grandchild; the grandchild has been living with the grandparents for over six months; or the parent can not take care of the child. Some other instances include if the parents have been incarcerated in jail or prison for over three months; have been found incompetent to take care of the child; are deceased; or have no legal right to the child. After reviewing the facts, the court may decide if the request for possession or access to their grandchild is reasonable. It is also important to note that if both parents of the grandchild’s parental rights have been terminated, grandparents can not request visitation. Other exemptions also include if the child is under the care of a child protection service; the child is adopted, undergoing the adoption process; or is a step-grandchild.
After the court has approved the request for the petition, the court will set up a visitation date. The schedule will have the appropriate time, event, location, and time needed for the visitation. These orders must be abided by the parents unless a modification has been made to the agreement.
If you are a grandparent looking for visitation rights to your grandchildren, contact a family law lawyer near you for help.