Grandparent Rights

As you already know, the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is genuinely special. Those grandparents who establish a bond with their grandchildren find that the relationship is unlike any other. 

As a result of divorce becoming commonplace, many grandparents have found that their relationships with grandchildren are affected.  This often occurs when a parent has sole custody of a child resulting in the non-custodial grandparents having significantly reduced time with their grandchildren. 

I recognize how important your grandchildren are to you and will work hard to help you establish and maintain your visitation rights.

Circumstances Under Which Grandparenting Time May be Sought

A grandparent may seek an order from the court permitting visitation and grandparenting- time under certain circumstances. 

  • An action for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment involving the child's parents is pending before the court
  • The child's parents are divorced, separated under a judgment of separate maintenance, or have had their marriage annulled
  • The child's parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased
  • The child's parents have never been married, they are not residing in the same household, and paternity has been established
  • Legal custody of the child has been given to a person other than the child's parent, or the child is placed outside of and does not reside in the home of a parent
  • In the year preceding the commencement of an action for grandparenting time, the grandparent provided an established custodial environment for the child, whether or not the grandparent had custody under a court order.

When Parents Oppose Grandparenting Time

According to the United States Supreme Court, whether it will be beneficial to a child to have a relationship with a grandparent is, in any specific case, a decision for the parent to make initially.  If the courts are involved, it will give some special weight to the parent's own determination. 

A court will presume that a fit parent's decision to deny grandparenting time does not create a substantial risk to the child.  A grandparent may challenge this by establishing that the parent's decision to deny grandparenting time creates a substantial risk of harm to the child's mental, physical, or emotional health.  

© Law Offices of Daniel D. McLean, PLC 2011