The emotional divorce process does not only affect spouses and their children. Other family members and close friends can also feel the effects when bitter parents jeopardize their relationship with the children involved.
This has given rise to grandparent’s rights issues in Family Court. You will be surprised to know that even grandparents –who are important and irreplaceable to most children don’t have an automatic right to see their grandchildren when their child divorces or separates from his or her spouse. Angry and bitter custodial parents often cut off grandparents from their grandchildren.
Family law recognizes the benefits and importance of grandparents spending time with their grandchildren and facilitates this through a legal process. Grandparents who are victims of such behavior should seek the assistance of a Boise grandparent’s rights lawyer as they have the right to request grandparents’ visitation rights or, in different circumstances, guardianship or custody of the child.
Usually, the court will consider that it’s in a grandchild’s best interests to spend time with their extended family after the separation or divorce of their parents unless there is a valid reason to prevent this. At Boise Family Law, we can show the family court judge that keeping you from seeing your grandchildren will hurt them.
With decades of experience in family law, we specialize in helping grandparents get visitation rights. We are well versed in family law and the grandparent’s rights under the law. We can begin working on your case right away to gather proof and build a solid case on your behalf.
Contact us at 208-968-9060 to talk to one of our attorneys and learn what legal options you have. Keep in mind that you have a better chance of getting a court order that enforces your rights if you hire a family law attorney sooner than later.
What Are Grandparent’s Rights?
The basic tenet of grandparent visitation rights is that grandparents and other family members need to be in a child’s life to help mold them into healthy and well-adjusted adults.
Family members other than the child’s parents are granted visitation rights after a divorce or separation because a child would benefit from having their extended family, such as grandparents, in their lives even if it is against one of the child’s parents’ wishes.
Grandparents may also be granted visitation rights for a foster care child. In the case of adoption, grandparents can only request visitation rights if a stepparent adopts the child.
Requesting Grandparents’ Visitation Rights
Before a court can grant you visitation rights for your grandchildren, you must be able to demonstrate that it is in the child’s best interests. When deciding whether to grant visitation rights, the court considers the following factors:
- Your relationship with the child
- Your relationship with the parent or guardian of the child
- The last time you had contact with your grandchild
- The impact your visit between the child and their parent or legal guardian
- How the child’s time with other family members and/or their biological parent will be affected by your visit.
- Any history of abuse
When Do Grandparent’s Rights Apply?
Usually, custodial or married parents have decision-making power regarding their child’s relationship with third parties, including grandparents. This means that grandparents cant request visitation rights if both parents disallow it except if:
- A divorce, separation, or other family law proceeding contesting the child’s custody is pending. (Family Code 3103)
- A parent has passed on. (Family Code 3102)
- The parents are not a married couple, or the parents are married but living separately permanently or indefinitely. (Family Code 3104)
- A parent has been absent, and the whereabouts are unknown for over a month. (Family Code 3104)
- One parent joins in the petition. (Family Code 3104)
- A stepparent has adopted their grandchild. (Family Code 3104)
- The child is not residing with either parent. (Family Code 3104)
- One parent is involuntarily institutionalized or incarcerated. (Family Code 3104)
- Parents live separately
- Grandparents in conjunction with a parent sue for visitation
- The child’s biological parents do not live with him or her
A court will only grant grandparents visitation rights if they had a previous bond, especially if it is in the child’s best interest to continue that bond. The court will also weigh if the child has been totally cut off from their grandparents with whom they shared an indispensable bond.
Since the court’s priority is your grandchild’s best interest, our family law attorneys can help you prove beyond reasonable doubt that it is not in your grandchild’s best interest to be denied seeing his or her grandparent.
What Is The Federal Law On Grandparent’s Rights?
Every state has embraced laws for granting grandparents visitation rights with the intention of maintaining contact between the grandparent and the grandchild. Generally, there are two types of laws regarding visitation rights: permissive and restrictive visitation statutes.
Restrictive visitation statutes only allow grandparents to seek visitation rights if one or both parents have died or if the parents have separated or divorced.
However, there is more leeway when granting visitation rights in most states. These permissive visitation laws allow a grandparent or a third party to petition visitation even if the parents are alive or still married.
There are several provisions in the statutes in every state. Grandparents should check the requirements in their respective states to establish the circumstances for visitation, the factors that have to be considered by a court to order visitation, and the appropriate venue to file a petition for visitation.
Though these statutes are similar in most states, the provisions may be applied differently by state courts. Every statute requires courts to prioritize the child’s best interests before granting visitation or custody to grandparents.
What Is The US Supreme Court Ruling On Visitation Rights?
The USSC (United States Supreme Court) tackled the critical question regarding grandparent visitation rights in 2000. A lower court in a Washington family law case stuck down a permissive grandparent visitation law, moving the case to the US Supreme court.
The Supreme court ruled that parents have a fundamental right under the constitution to make decisions concerning the upbringing of their children. However, the court did not agree that letting a nonparent request for visitation rights would amount to an assault on the integrity of the family unit or that the permissive visitation law was unconstitutional.
Simply put, grandparents can request visitation or custodial rights, but parents’ rights will almost always precede the grandparents’ rights.
The Supreme court also ruled that lower courts must believe that it’s in a child’s best interest when a parent rejects a grandparent’s petition for visitation, and the grandparents must prove that the contrary is true. (Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57.)
Why Hire Grandparents’ Visitation Rights Lawyers For My Case?
Hiring a grandparents’ visitation rights lawyer is a wise move when facing a grandparents’ visitation rights dispute. An experienced and skilled attorney will guide you through the complicated legal process to pursue the best outcome possible.
At Boise Family Law, we will provide aggressive advocation and honest legal advice to aid fair resolutions in family law cases. We are vastly experienced in dealing with all legal aspects of a family dispute.
We will look into the details of your case and conduct investigations to help you build a strong case.
Most importantly, we will put your grandchild’s best interests first throughout the whole process because we understand how much your grandchild means to you.
Contact a Boise Grandparent’s Rights Attorney at Trilogy Law Group
At Trilogy Law Group, our qualified grandparents’ visitation rights lawyers have what it takes to advocate for you. We have handled family law cases for many years, and we always put our clients, and their grandchildren’s needs first. If you have any queries about your grandparent’s rights, call Boise Family Law at 208-968-9060 to arrange a free case review.