Sadly, in some divorce cases, grandparents lose touch with their grandchildren.
It is not unusual for grandparents to seek a court order to establish their rights when their child is going through a divorce. It’s generally visitation rights that they want to have established. While grandparents may have played a big role in raising the children thus far, once the parents are divorced they don’t necessarily have the right to keep up that same level of contact. This is especially worrying if the children are going to live with their soon to be ex daughter or son in law and if the split has not been amicable. Sadly in these cases, grandparents can often lose touch with their grandchildren, especially if they move away with their other parent.
At The Betz Law Firm, we are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with the same level of professionalism that we would wish for our own family members. We are aware of the trust our clients’ place in us with the future of their family and we strive daily to earn it.
Understanding Grandparent Visitation Rights
A grandparent can apply to the court for reasonable visitation rights. This can happen due to a divorce, or it may also happen when one of the parents has died and the remaining parent is refusing to allow their partner’s parents to visit the grandchildren.
You can also ask for visitation rights if the child stayed with you for at least six months out of the previous two years. If your child is still married to their partner and they live together, in these circumstances you have no right to request visitation rights.
A court may only grant visitation rights to a grandchild if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. They will assess whether there is a risk of any harm, either physically or emotionally to the child. They may impose certain restrictions on a visit. They may speak to the child to get their opinion and wishes heard. This is more common with older children than younger ones. They may also visit your home to assess your own family situation.
Also keep in mind that if you do go to court to seek visitation rights, the judge may rule that you pay all fees. Of course, you’ll have all your own fees to pay too so it could work out being very expensive. Instead, you may try and work out visitation amicably with your child and your son or daughter in law first before taking it to a court of law.
Mediation may be a good option. This is a step further than a conversation with the parties involved, but isn’t as complicated, formal or expensive as a full court hearing. All parties will gather with an independent third party and you will have a discussion to try and resolve your issues and hopefully come to an agreement on visitation that everyone is happy with.
St Louis Family Law Lawyer
Our legal practice is focused exclusively on family law, and consists of a staff of experienced professionals who have immense knowledge of all the legal issues that can arise during a divorce. Hundreds of clients have been assisted with the issues of child custody, visitation and support, as well as alimony, division of joint assets, and much more.
Call us today for a free 30 minute phone consultation by calling (314) 801-8488. You may also fill out our online contact form.