Latest News 2011 February Grandparental Rights and Visitation

Grandparental Rights and Visitation

Recent cases across the country have raised the question of whether or not there is such a legal point of grandparental rights in the case of visitation. Although it varies by state the traditional answer to this question is no, if the legal parents do not wish for their children's grandparents to be involved in their lives.

However, starting in 1965 the states, including the District of Columbia, have created legislation granting more rights to grandparents, such as the right to petition for visitation rights with grandchildren. Yet this doesn't mean that the courts automatically have to grant visitation once the petition is made, only that they give the right to make the petition.

In some states grandparents are not the only ones who can petition for visitation. Aunts, uncles, siblings, stepparents, great-grandparents and even non-relatives who have established a close relationship may also be granted the right to petition. These petitions are usually submitted to the courts when the grandchild's parents have passed away, or if there is a divorce situation. This can also be extended to when a parent has been incarcerated or if the child has already lived with the grandparent for an extended period of time.

If you are curious about grandparental rights, it is advised that you consult with a family lawyer.