Grandparents Visitation Rights Lawyers
I Am a Grandparent, Do I Have a Right to See my Loved One?
The area of grandparents' visitation rights is currently an area of the law in a state of flux. A number of important courts decisions have come down over the past few years. The law on this topic is extremely muddled because the courts have been unable to decide how involved grandparents should be, and whether state laws regarding the matter are constitutional or not. The answer to the above question is, Nobody is really sure.
What are the State Laws regarding my Grandparent Rights?
All 50 states attempt to protect grandparents visitation rights in some way, shape, or form Different states take different approaches to what rights grandparents, and caregivers in general, have to see, visit, and care for their loved ones. In general, one of the following two approaches is taken:
- Restrictive Visitation Statutes (20 states): These laws indicate that only grandparents are eligible for a court's visitation order. Many allow these orders only if the child's parents are divorcing or one or both have died.
- Permissive Visitation Statutes (30 states): These laws allow courts to consider visitation requests without the death of a parent or the dissolution of the family. So long as visitation would serve the best interests of the child. Some states allow other caretaking adults, not just grandparents, to make a petition.
Why Have Grandparents' Rights Laws Met Resistance?
In order to understand what you rights are is this area, you have to understand what is at issue in this debate. At stake here is the parent's fundamental right to make decisions on how to best raise their children. Some courts have viewed visitation statutes, especially the more lenient permissive visitation statutes, as directly conflicting with this right. On the other hand, supporters of these laws argue that states have the right to make sure that children are brought up in an environment where they are supported by their loved ones.
What about my Rights when a Parent is Abusive, Unfit, or Incompetent?
Assuming that one can show that a parent is abusive, unfit, or incompetent, courts are far more willing to grant permissive (and in some cases permanent rights) to grandparents if it is in the best interest of the child. In addition, courts have been very willing to grant visitation rights during the divorce period. This area of the law seems fairly clear cut.
What Should I do if I Just Want to Make this as Simple as Possible for Myself?
Grandparents concerned about maintaining visitation with grandchildren who are facing parental resistance might consider requesting that the children's parents engage in mediation with them. This way, you have a chance to hammer out an agreement that avoids litigation altogether. In the end, this might be most beneficial to all parties concerned, including the children
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding my Grandparent Visitation Rights?
Visitation and custody are always touchy subjects, and visiting or taking custody of a grandchild without permission is never a good idea. A good attorney will be able to advise you on the best route to take.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 06-25-2013 11:46 AM PDT
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