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Grandparents Visitation Rights

Grandparents Visitation Rights

To many grandparents, grandchildren are their pride and joy. It is understandable that grandparents want to spend time with their grandchildren and enjoy watching them grow up. When grandparents are denied the right to see their grandchildren, it can be heartbreaking. In some divorces, grandparents’ visitation rights can be a volatile issue. Grandparents can play a key role in a child’s upbringing, including take care of the child when the parents are working, giving advice and providing emotional and financial support. There was a time when grandparents were allowed to visit their grandchildren if the court considered that it was in the best interests of the child, even if a spouse disagreed. Today, if grandparents are denied visitation rights, they must not only prove that the visits are in the best interests of the child, but that the child is also in danger of being harmed. It can be extremely upsetting to the grandparents as well as the child when parents prohibit visitation. If this happens, the grandparents can file a petition with the court requesting visitation rights. Courts try to serve those interests with an agreement that preserves existing relationships. If a judge sees that there is a strong relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, he or she will often try to put an order in place that preserves it. Courts consider many factors when awarding visitation, including: The child’s age, gender, and mental and physical health The age and mental health of the grandparents The child’s existing relationship and emotional ties with the grandparents To what degree the grandparents support the child’s relationship with his or her parents...