Grandparents Rights to Visitation
A paternal grandparent is allowed to ask the court to grant them reasonable visitation with a grandchild. When giving grandparents visitation rights, the court has to find an already existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparent. There should be a bond between the grandchild and grandparent. This bond ensures that the visit is in the grandchild’s best interest. The court will also consider the best interest of the child and balance this with the rights of a parent to decide for their children.
When Grandparents Can or Cannot File For Visitation Rights
Grandparents cannot get visitation rights while the parents of their grandchild are still married. However, Grandparents can seek visitation rights when one of the following is true:
- Where the parents are divorced or legally separated
- Where the parents have never been married, and paternity of the child is established (if Grandparents are on the Paternal side)
- Where one of the parents (the child of the requesting grandparents) is now deceased
If none of the above situations applies, and the parent(s) do(es) not agree to the visitation, then the grandparent may not be granted visitation rights by the court.
Therefore, if the grandchild’s parents are both living and are still married to each other, the grandparent cannot ask the court for visitation with the grandchild. Also, if the child was born outside of a marriage and paternity has not been established for the child, the paternal grandparent cannot ask the court for visitation with the grandchild.
How A Visitation Lawyer Can Help You
A family law attorney/lawyer can help you pursue visitation rights in the following ways:
- File the required petitions
- Serve the parents of your grandchildren with copies of these forms
- Gather evidence to show that you qualify for visitation rights and that it is in the best interests of your grandchild
- Present your terms during mediation talks and make sure you get the best possible deal
- Represent you in court when mediation talks fail and present a strong case to ensure the court grants you reasonable visitation rights
Grandparents have a right to visit their grandchild. However, in some cases, this right may be denied. Before petitioning the court to grant you visitation, there is a process you should follow and forms you need to fill before the court clerk sets a court date. You may not have to go to court if you and your grandchildren’s parents reach an agreement. In any case, you need to be careful when filling the petition and when choosing a server to notify your grandchildren’s parents about the petition. All in all, it is important to involve a family law attorney/lawyer or to closely consult with a family law facilitator to determine whether you are using the right approach to filing for visitation rights.
The law firm of Yoder & Jessup, with over 50 years experience, can assist you with Grandparents visitation rights issues you may have. Yoder & Jessup has convenient NE Indiana offices located in Kendallville, IN, and Albion, IN.