Three Common Issues That Courts Consider When Tackling Grandparent Visitation Rights


Child custody and visitation issues do not just concern the parents and their children, even other relatives, notably grandparents, have a stake in children's well-being. However, as a grandparent who wishes to have custody or visitation rights for your grandchildren, you should know that the issue isn't handled uniformly across all states. That being said, there are some common themes that the courts will consider such as:

Marital Status of the Parents

In many states, known as restrictive visitation states, grandparents can only get court-issued visitation rights if the parents are either divorced or deceased. In these states, even divorced parents' wishes have a lot of weight when the issue goes to court. This contrasts with permissive visitation states in which you can request for your grandchildren's visitation orders even if their parents are neither dead nor divorced.

Best Interests of the Child

All states consider the interests of the child while making grandparent visitation or custody rulings. Deciding on what constitutes best interests" isn't exactly a black and white issue, there are many gray areas. However, some of the issues the court may consider include:

  • The wishes of the children, especially if they are relatively older.
  • The value and strength of the relationship between the children and the grandparents. For example, have they been visiting each other, living together or exchanging gifts in the past? It's difficult to award visitation rights to a grandparent who is making his or her first contact with a child.
  • Evidence (or lack of it) of substance abuse by the grandparents.
  • Distance between parents (if they are alive) and grandparents. The court realizes that visitation may be difficult if the grandparents live far from the parents and children.

Conduct of the Parents

The conduct of the parents is also an essential factor because it may determine whether or not they are capable of raising the children successfully on their own. Therefore, the family court will examine whether the parents:

  • Abuse drugs
  • Have neglected the children
  • Have set the children against each other during the divorce
  • Are medically incompetent

If the conduct of the parents are deemed to be useful to the welfare of the children, then their words may carry more weight in court than if the courts consider them incompetent or unfit to raise their children.

As you can see, issues of grandparent visitation and custody aren't exactly straightforward. What is more, courts have been known to issue contradicting edicts when it comes to awarding visitation rights. Therefore, your best bet is to consult an experienced family attorney, like, and conduct yourself properly if you wish to be granted the rights to visit or live with your grandchildren.


16 March 2015

Learning How To Heal

After you have endured a traumatic, life-changing car accident, it can be hard to transition back into your everyday routine. As friends and family members chat about upcoming outlet mall sales or holiday plans, you might be secretly worried about how to pay your medical bills or forget about that wreck. Fortunately, dealing with your car accident case proactively by working with an attorney can really help. After I was involved in a car accident a few years back, my attorney stood by my side and helped me to argue for what was rightfully mine. I made this website to teach others what to do if they are involved in an accident.