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Grandparents Visitation Rights

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Family Law - Grandparents Visitation

All 50 states currently have some type of "grandparent visitation" statute; through which ;grandparents and sometimes others (foster parents and stepparents, for example) can ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain their relationships with loved children. But state laws vary greatly when it comes to the crucial details, such as who can visit and under what circumstances.

The following criteria are important when grandparent visitation rights are considered. They can be quite different from state to state and are subject to change.

•  Best Interest of Child

•  Must Show Harm

•  Prior Grandparent/Grandchild Relationship

•  Effect on Parent/Child Relationship

•  Any Marital Status of Parents

•  Parents are Deceased, Divorced and/or Unmarried.

•  After Stepparent Adoption

The requirements for court ordered visitation vary by state. In most, but not all states, if the grandchild's parents are still married the grandparents are not entitled to visitation. Depending upon the state, the following situations may give rise to grandparent visitation:

•  Pending divorce

•  Parents already divorced

•  Parent deceased

•  Child born out of wedlock

In recent years, the issue of Grandparent's rights to visitation in divorce has come to the forefront. Sadly, what will often happen in divorce are the parents of the non-custodial parent end up cut off from their grandchildren. This may be especially true if the grandparents and grandchildren live a far distance from each other.

Grandparent's rights have become a controversial issue. On the one hand why should grandchildren be denied time with a grandparent because their parents no longer live together or are getting a divorce? Conversely, at what point does the intervention of the courts infringe upon a person's civil liberties?

People going through a divorce often feel that they have little or no control over their lives anymore. It seems the court system takes over their life, telling them how to live, where to live, how much money to live on and on.


If you are in need of legal advice or services, or simply wish to speak to an attorney who has successfully handled a Grandparent Visitation case in your state, you may use this Free Online Consultation Form.

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