Grandparents Custody and Visitation Rights
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What Are Child Custody Rights?
Full custody is the care and control of a child by his parents or grandparents, awarded by a court. A custody order differs from an adoption, as custody is never permanent.
Partial custody is temporary care and control of a child away from his custodial parent. A partial custody order differs from a full custody order as the grandparent may only visit for a specified period of time, but supervision by the child's legal guardian is not needed.
What Is Child Visitation?
Visitation rights allow you to visit with the child but only under the supervision of the legal guardian. Visitation differs from custody in that at no time may you be granted control of the child.
How Do I File for Full Custody Rights for My Grandchild?
The court determines the circumstances in which a grandparent may file a petition for full custody of a grandchild. These circumstances require that:
- Parental consent or a court order allowed the legal care relationship between the grandparent and the child;
- The parental role is assumed by the grandparent for one year or the grandparent has a reasonable belief that the child lacks proper parental care;
- The child's best interest is served if placed in the grandparent's custody; and
- The court believes the grandparent has genuine care for the child's welfare.
When Can I Seek Partial Custody or Visitation rights?
The circumstances under which a grandparent may be granted partial custody or visitation rights are when:
- The child's parents have been separated for at least six months or are divorced;
- The child's best interests are served when granting the grandparent partial custody or visitation rights;
- The child has lived with a grandparent for one year under the consent of a parent; or
- A birth parent has died.
Do I Need to Consult an Attorney about Grandparents' Visitation and Custody?
If you are looking to establish or modify grandparent child custody or visitation, it is generally wise to consult with a family lawyer. A family lawyer has experience dealing with the complicated court system and can work to protect your relationship with the child.
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Last Modified: 04-16-2015 10:18 AM PDT
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