What Factors Affect Visitation Rights for Grandparents?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2020
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In many divorce cases, the children and parents are not the only people affected. The grandparents do not often get to offer their recommendations when it comes to custody arrangements, which means that if their child does not get custody of the kids, they may rarely see their grandchildren. They often have to go to court to get any visitation rights. The decision is usually based on whether seeing the grandparents would be in the best interest of the grandchildren. Additionally, the relationship between the kids and the grandparents is often taken into consideration when determining visitation rights for grandparents.

During and after a divorce, visitation rights for grandparents usually need to be filed in court, as they are not automatically granted. Of course, if they are on speaking terms with the child's parents, they can arrange for visitation out of court, as long as all parties agree to it. Unfortunately, many grandparents find that their former son-in-law or daughter-in-law will not speak to them or encourage visitation with their children. This leaves the option of filing at the court in the county where the child lives to get visitation rights legally granted.


Most courts abide by the bottom line that it must be in the best interest of the child in order to be considered, and this includes visitation rights for grandparents. Once a grandparent applies for these rights, several factors will be considered to determine whether granting rights is in the child's best interest. First, the court will examine the relationship between the applicant and the grandchild's parents, as well as the one between the applicant and the child. The effect that the visitation will have on the parent with whom the child is living is also considered.

The history between the grandparents and the child is also taken into consideration when determining visitation rights for grandparents. Factors like whether the grandparent has had recent contact with the child, has a history of abuse or neglect, and has filed the petition in good faith are also all considered. In most cases, grandparents who were regularly in contact with the child before the divorce are likely to get visitation rights, while those who rarely showed an interest in visiting the child before may have to work harder to get the rights. Additionally, whether visitation rights for grandparents would interfere with time spent with either parent is also a factor in this decision.



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