Grandparents often wonder if they will have an opportunity to see their grandchildren if their sons and daughters separate or divorce. Most of the time, divorced families do continue to see each other, but problems could arise if one parent wants to move away or if a parent loses custody completely.
As a grandparent, you may be wondering if you can seek visitation. In some cases, you can bring a petition to see your grandchildren if one of the parents will not allow you to maintain your relationship with your grandchildren.
When can the court grant visitation to a grandparent?
Since 2005, it has been possible for the court to grant visitation time to a grandparent when doing so is in the best interests of the child and the grandparent has been denied visitation to their grandchild by one of the parents involved in the case. There is a restriction, though. This restriction states that grandparents may not be able to obtain visitation if both of the child’s parents refuse.
The reason for this is to protect the child and family dynamic. For example, if a grandparent has been a negative influence on the grandchild in the past, both of the child’s parents may state that they do not wish for the grandparent to have visitation rights in the future.
What can you do to improve your chances of obtaining visitation time?
Since there are strict rules regarding grandparent visitation, it’s helpful to get to know your legal options before you go to court. You may want to talk to your child or their ex-spouse to see if you can work out a schedule to see your grandchild that won’t need to involve the court, too.
If you cannot figure out a solution, then you can petition the court as long as you have one of the parents’ support. If neither parent wants you to be involved, then your case will be extremely difficult. Building a strong case for visitation will mean showing that restricting visitation is harming your relationship with your grandchild and isn’t in your grandchild’s best interests.