Family Law

Basic Grandparents’ Rights to Custody and Visitation

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Family Law | 0 comments

Most issues in marriage and divorce when it comes to the children are concerned with the rights of the parents. This leaves the doting grandparents pretty much on the wayside. However, all states in the US have lately come around to the notion that while grandparents may not have a constitutional right to have custody and visit their grandchildren, they should at least have statutory rights.

Unfortunately, not all parents agree. They have successfully challenged state laws that dictate grandparents’ rights based on constitutionality, and so the success of any bid to acquire rights over their grandchildren will depend on a particular state’s laws on it.

In Texas, for example, grandparents have no right of visitation. If a parent objects, they have no legal recourse. However, it is possible for grandparents to petition the state court to grant them visitation rights under specific circumstances. They can also petition for custody if the grandchildren lived a minimum of six months with them and the petition is within 90 days after the children were removed from their care. They may also petition for custody if an emergency arises wherein the grandparents can prove the wellbeing and safety of the children are at risk. According to the website of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, this can be a tricky proposition. It requires a skilled family law attorney to have an even chance of success in most cases.

The same situation exists in Iowa, more or less. The law states that visitation and custodial rights of grandparents can only be granted if it is in the best interests of the child. The only way grandparents can prevail over the objections of the parents regarding visitation and custody is to prove them unfit. As pointed out on the website of Cedar Rapids family law attorneys Arenson Law Group, PC, it is important to maintain stability for the children even amidst a legal battle over them, and that is not an easy task. The children after all are the most important factor in such cases.

If you want to petition the court to grant you grandparents’ rights, you need to go to the right people. Consult with a qualified family or divorce lawyer in your state to make sure that you get the best representation you can get.

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