Can grandparents seek court-ordered visitation in Oregon?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2021 | Family Law

In an Oregon divorce and its aftermath, family disputes revolving around children generally center around the parents. However, others – including grandparents – may also want to play a role in the child’s life. It does not even need to be a grandparent seeking custody. Those who simply want visitation with the child could find their efforts rebuffed. The circumstances in which a custodial parent is refusing to grant grandparent visitation can vary. There are fundamentals for grandparents to remember and these can be essential to achieving a positive result and getting time with the child.

When grandparents can be granted court-ordered visitation

Grandparents have the option of requesting visitation during a family law case or after it has been completed. In certain instances, the parents are willing to give the grandparents some form of visitation and an order can be signed so this can be added to the schedule. In others, there is resistance, reluctance or outright denial on the part of the parents and the grandparents must prove a visitation order is warranted. There are basic requirements for this to be done.

The grandparents must show that they had a continuous relationship with the child that lasted for a minimum of one year and they spent time together on a regular basis. As with any family law determination, the child’s best interests are paramount. The court will use this barometer with any decision it makes. Regarding grandparents and court-ordered visitation, it will assess the request in this context. If denying it will negatively impact the child, then visitation can be ordered. The court will also weigh if the grandparents were the primary caretakers; if it will harm the child not to have contact; if the custodial parent’s time with the child will be unreasonably limited by grandparent visitation; and if the parent was denying or limiting contract unreasonably.

Grandparents should know the proper legal channels for visitation

Third-party custody and visitation might sound like an unusual issue in a family law case, but it happens more regularly than people realize. Grandparents’ rights are a specific area of the law with certain factors that the court will look for when analyzing the case. For grandparents in this situation, having professional assistance can be a crucial to proving it serves the child’s best interests and the other tenets of grandparent visitation to have it included as part of the decision.