What are my visitation rights as a grandparent?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2017 | Family Law

Relatively recently (in the last 40 years) has it been a right as a grandparent to be able to seek to visit a child. Now, every state had a legal stance on visitation rights for grandparents and other non-parental relations.

Variations by state

Every state has slightly differing legal guidelines; however, every state holds guidelines that are intended to make sure that grandparents can have contact with their grandchildren if it is in the best interests of the child or children in question.

Restrictive and permissive visitation

Some states have restrictive visitation rights, which means that grandparents can only seek visitation rights under the law if the parents of the children are divorced. Permissive visitation law allows grandparents to seek visitation rights regardless of the marital status of the child’s parents.

Clashes with parental rights

In Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court decided that there were violations in a parent’s fundamental right to raise his or her child in this particular case, because the grandparents’ rights for visitation could not come before a mother’s right to make decisions based on the “care, custody, and control” of her children. This is an example of how the best interests of the child will always come first. Grandparents can seek visitation rights, but it does slightly impose on a parent’s fundamental right to make decisions for his or her child.

Mediation is a good place to start when trying to resolve family matters. If you believe that legal involvement should be the next step, an attorney can provide more information.

Source: Findlaw, “Grandparent visitation rights,” accessed July 13, 2017