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What Rights Do Grandparents Have?
There are some special rights grandparents enjoy. While these rights are not automatic and vary from state to state, they are nonetheless quite important as they acknowledge a unique legal status grandparents are given.
The main rights grandparents enjoy are:
What Custody Rights Do Grandparents Enjoy?
Again, grandparent custody rights are not automatic. However, there are several situations where they may be able to petition a court for partial or even full custody of their grandchildren. Common situations include:
- The parents are deceased
- The parents are unfit
When analyzing custody arrangements, courts will consider the best interests of the child. This means that the court will analyze several factors, such as:
- The child’s age, gender, mental, physical, and emotional state
- The child’s preferences
- The ability of the child to adjust between homes
- The location of the parent, or parents, with respect to the grandparents; especially if they live in different states
- The lifestyle and social habits the parents and the grandparents
- The child’s degree of attachment to either parent and to the grandparents
What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Enjoy?
As mentioned above, the grandparent’s options for getting more visitation rights will be largely determined by the best interests of the child. Still, courts nationwide all seem to agree that grandparents are similar to parents, and therefore allow them to petition for visitation rights where such visits may otherwise be put at jeopardy.
Common situations for court ordered visitation include:
- Death of a parent
- Divorce or separation
- Financial dependency
- Once a decision is made, a visitation schedule will be ordered.
Seeking Legal Advice
Understanding your rights as a grandparent can be difficult, and not necessarily something you should have to figure out on your own. Speaking with a family lawyer in your area can resolve any custody, visitation, or other family law questions you may have. Your attorney will not only be able to explain the law to you and offer invaluable legal advice, but can represent your rights in court if necessary.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 07-18-2014 02:48 PM PDT
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