What are Grandparents Rights?

What are Grandparents Rights?

Grandparents need to check a number of terms in the statutes in their particular states to establish the conditions for visitation, the elements a court needs to consider in ordering visitation, and the appropriate venue for filing a request for visitation. Though a lot of state statutes are likewise, state courts might apply statutory provisions in different ways. Every statute needs courts to consider the child best interests prior to granting custody or visitation to grandparents.

Courts in several states ruled that statutes providing for grandparent visitation are in violation of the federal or the individual state’s constitutions. A lot of states have modified the statutory visitation terms, but, the statutes constitutionality could still be in question. When an intermediate appeals court in a specific state ruled the visitation statute un-constitutional, it doesn’t necessarily make the statute inconsequential. The terms of these statutes are comprised of below. Nevertheless, when a state supreme court or the United States Supreme Court has come to the determination that the visitation statute is un-constitutional, the terms won’t be comprised of below.

Arizona is one of the states that absolves complete families from grandparent visitation cases. A court might grant visitation rights when the child’s parents’ marriage has been terminated for at least 3 months, or if the child was born out of wedlock. Nevertheless, when the parents of a child born out of wedlock get married, the family is then deemed a complete family and is consequently absolved from these kinds of cases. When managing these kinds of cases, Arizona courts take into consideration the following elements when establish the child’s the best interest a record of the relationship between the grandparent and child, the motive of the person filing the case, the motive of the individual denying visitation, the quantity of time wanted and the impact that time ins going to have on the child’s day to day activities, and, in cases of death, the benefits of retaining a relationship with their extended family. Adoption dissolves the visitation rights of the grandparents unless the adoption gets awarded to a stepparent.

Grandparent Custody and Visitation Conditions

Even though not as common as parental visitation right, grandparent visitation rights have been acknowledged in every state for the past forty years. The primary purpose of these rights is to guarantee that a child is accessible to the emotional and developing benefits with having a grandparent in their lives. Custody rights of grandparents might be exercised when the child’s parents are not able to properly care for the child or if they’ve passed away or imprisoned.

Grandparent Custody Conditions

Statutory stipulations for child custody (called “conservatorship” in a couple of states) are typically less particular than the statutes in regard to grandparent visitation. Courts need to first think about the relationship of the parent or parents with the child prior considering if awarding custody to grandparent(s) is suitable. Many states specifically include contemplation of grandparents as custodians when both parents have passed away.

When either or both parents are still living, courts in a lot of states are going to presume that the parent of the child needs to retain custody. Grandparents need to generally have proof the parent(s) unsuitable with the aim of convincing the court that the child(ren) need to be placed with them. Even when the relationship between the grandparent and grandchild is healthy, it’s typically very challenging for a grandparent to obtain custody of a grandchild contrary to the desires of the parent or parents.

Grandparent Visitation Conditions

State statutes offering visitation to grandparents usually require that a number of conditions happen prior to visitation rights being granted. The marital status of the parents needs be taken in to consideration in a majority of states prior to a court evaluating the relevant elements to ascertain if visitation is appropriate. In many of these states, the parents’ marital status is taken into consideration only when the grandparent or grandparents has been declined visitation by the parents. In other states, marital status is taken into consideration only if the grandchild lived with the grandparents for a certain amount of time.

A lesser number of states are requiring that at least one parent has passed away prior to a court granting visitation to the parent of the non-living parent of the child. For instance, a maternal grandparent in one of those states might be granted visitation only when the father of the child has passed away.

After the statutory requirements for visitation are fulfilled, grandparents need to establish the elements that courts may or have to consider to award visitation rights. In each state, grandparents need to prove that awarding visitation to the grandchild is in the child’s best interest. Many states also have a requirement that the court considers a prior relationship among the grandparent and the grandchild, the impact grandparental visitation is going to have on the relationship among the parent and their child, and/or evidence of harm to the grandchild when visitation isn’t allowed.


  1. Grandparent visitation and custody requirements. (2018, October 04). Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/child-custody/requirements-for-awarding-grandparent-visitation-and-custody.html

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