Many states now offer grandparent visitation rights to help both the child and the grandparent maintain this important grandparent relationship, helping to insure that loving grandparents are allowed to continue to see their grandchildren and be a part of the child's life.
Grandparents are very often a positive and vital part of their grandchildren's lives. This bond is so important that many states now allow grandparents to ask a Family Court or a Domestic court to give them visitation with their grandchildren, even if the parents of the children object to allowing the grandparents contact with the children.
When parents dissolve their union, the grandparents, in addition to the children, can also be affected. When grandparents have enjoyed a close relationship with their grandchildren, it can be very difficult for the children if one or both of the parents prevent contact between the grandparents and the children.
While each state has it's own laws regarding grandparent visitation rights, most require that the grandparents show the court two things: First, that they have already established a relationship with their grandchild. For some states, it is essential to establish that the grandparent has seen their grandchild in the past and has developed a loving bond with the child. And, second, the grandparents must show that continuing their relationship is in the best interest of the child.
Lastly, most courts will only entertain a visitation plan for the grandparents that is not unduly burdensome on the parents. This is especially true if the parents are not living together and the children are living with one parent and visiting with the other parent.
Luckily, many states presume that a child benefits from having grandparents in his or her life. Grandparent visitation is not always an automatic right. Therefore, in some states, grandparents must prove to the court that they should be granted this visitation and demonstrate they have met all the legal requirements of their jurisdiction. Otherwise, the court may refuse to allow the grandparents visits with the children. For this reason, it is very important that grandparents who wish to bring a petition for visitation with their grandchild obtain legal advice and representation.
Written by Lauren S. Cohen, Esq.
Becky Caruso and Lauren S. Cohen are local Attorneys with over 40 years combined experience.
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Do Grandparents Have The Rights They Should?
Becky Caruso is a Binghamton Attorney with Experience Representing Grandparents in Family Court
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