What rights do grandparents have with their grandchildren?

In the process of a divorce, it is not uncommon for the grandparents of children to be overlooked. Although in most cases grandparents do not live with their grandchildren, it is important to recognize that grandparents often play a very important role in their grandchildren's' lives, and their roles are not overlooked by the courts.

Grandparents do have certain rights with regards to child visitation and the possibility of child custody, depending on the family's situation. If it can be proven that the parents of a child are unfit to care for the grandchild, a grandparent may seek custodial rights. This is typically the case when parents are abusive, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or is unable to provide proper care for the child or children.

When it comes visitation rights and child custody cases, several factors are taken under consideration. When making decisions regarding custody and child visitation rights, the courts always look to assure that the best interests of the child are met. They may look at the relationship between the child and the grandparents, the wishes of the child or children and will even consider factors such as the distance between the child and the grandparents.

If you believe your visitation rights are not being met, the first step should be to speak with the parents to try to resolve the issue amongst yourselves. If this does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, you may try to have the issue resolved through a mediator. Litigation is typically a last resort for resolution.

Source: By findlaw.com, "Factors Considered for Grandparent Visitation and Custody," Accessed on Nov. 1, 2016

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