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Court Considerations: Grandparent Visitation and Custody

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Grandparent Visitation and Custody — Laws regarding grandparent visitation rights vary by state, always prioritizing the child’s best interests. For instance, some states may grant grandparent custody if biological parents are unfit or deceased. Visitation rights may be awarded if it’s shown that the child benefits from the relationship with grandparents, even if not encouraged by parents.

However, courts will only grant grandparent visitation or custody if specific conditions outlined in state statutes are met. The criteria for grandparent custody actions often differ from those for visitation rights. Understanding these distinctions is crucial before filing a court request for grandparent visitation or custody.

Court Considerations for Grandparent Visitation or Custody: Childs Best Interests

Courts in every state must assess the “child’s best interests” when deciding cases involving minor children. This criterion determines custody or visitation rights for grandparents. In numerous states, the “best interest” statute outlines factors the court considers in such cases. Some states lack a specific list but generally follow relevant statutes in custody and visitation disputes. The following aspects are commonly considered to determine the child’s best interest in custody or visitation disputes:

  • The child’s needs, including considerations of the emotional and physical health, the safety, and the welfare of the child
  • The capability of the parents and/or grandparents to fulfill the child’s needs
  • The wants of the parent(s) and the grandparent(s)
  • The wants of the child, should the child be able of making decisions for themselves
  • The durability of the relationship among the grandparent(s) and grandchild
  • The time of the relationship among the grandparent(s) and grandchild
  • Proof of neglect or abuse by the parent(s) or grandparent(s)
  • Proof of drug/ alcohol abuse by the parent(s) or grandparent(s)
  • The child’s adaptation to the home, school, or community
  • The capability of the parent(s) or grandparent(s) to supply affection, love, and contact with the child
  • The distance between the child and the parent(s) or grandparent(s)

What if the Biological Parent is Abusive?

If grandparents can prove that a parent is abusive, incapable, or unfit, courts are much more inclined to award permissible (and in many instances permanent) rights to grandparents when it’s in the child’s best interest. Courts usually prefer visitation and/or custody (typically temporary) throughout the divorce period additionally.

Court Reflections for Grandparent Custody and Visitation vs. Mediation

It’s often advisable to address grandparenting time disputes amicably, possibly through mediation, before resorting to court action. Litigation should be a last resort after exhausting other options.

Acquire Legal Assistance with Your Grandparent Visitation and/ or Custody Case

Court deliberations for child custody and visitation petitions differ widely by state. In a lot of cases, it’s wise to think about consulting a family law attorney for guidance. An attorney can help you in understanding your states laws, establishing the correct approach to child custody and visitation, and, when needed, making your case to the courts. Get a hold of an experienced family law attorney near you today.

Source:

  1. Staff, F. L. (2022, July 11). visitation and custody. Findlaw. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/child-custody/factors-considered-for-grandparent-visitation-and-custody.html

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