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Visitation rights of grandparents

Grandparents are often a positive and vital part of a child’s life. This link is so important that many states now allow grandparents to ask a family or domestic court to visit them with their grandchildren, even if the parents do not want the children to visit them.

While each state has its own laws regarding grandparent visitation, most require grandparents to show the court two things: First, that the bond between the child and the grandparent already exists. In other words, grandparents must show that they already have a relationship with their grandchild or that they have made repeated efforts to have that relationship. Showing the court that they have seen their grandchild in the past and that they have developed an emotional bond with the child is essential for grandparents seeking court-ordered visitation with their grandchild. Second, grandparents must show that continuing that relationship is good for the child. Fortunately, many states presume that a child benefits from having grandparents in his life. But grandparents must still be prepared to offer evidence to the court about how their grandchildren’s lives are improved because of their involvement.

The visit of the grandparents is not an automatic right. Grandparents have the burden of proving to the court that they should be granted this visitation and that they have met all legal requirements. Otherwise, a court may dismiss your petition or deny your visitation request. For this reason, it is very important that grandparents planning to ask the courts to help them see their grandchild obtain legal advice and representation.

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