Grandparent's rights are a hot-button issue in many situations. Whether due to divorce or the death of one parent, grandparents can find themselves suddenly without the time that they are used to spending with their grandchildren. While some states don't legally recognize grandparent's rights, many states do have provisions in place for grandparents to seek visitation and remain a part of their grandchildren's lives. Here are some of the things that the courts consider when you're filing a petition for visitation rights as a grandparent.
What Is The Motivation For The Request?
While grandparents can use any explanation they wish to clarify why they are requesting visitation with their grandchildren, the courts actually consider the motivation of the request in many different ways beyond just what the grandparents state.
For example, if the custody situation is highly contested between the two parents, and the grandparents that are requesting visitation are part of the family of the non-custodial parent, the judge will consider the possibility that the grandparents are seeking visitation solely to provide the non-custodial parent with additional time to see their children.
If the grandparents didn't see the children often before or weren't active in their lives, this can be an indication of this type of situation. On the other hand, if the grandparents were accustomed to seeing the children every weekend or every other weekend, then the request could be in earnest and would be considered as such.
What Is The Child's Routine Like?
Another thing that the courts will consider is the child's current routine. Since grandparents are secondary in terms of visitation rights, the judge will consider the type of visitation that the grandparents are asking for and how it affects the child's current schedule.
For example, if the child is active in a sport, and their practices and games fall on those visitation days that are requested, the grandparents will be less likely to receive the visitation that they are asking for. If they do, it may come with a court-ordered caveat that they ensure the child's transportation and attendance to their sports events on their visitation days.
What Is The Child's Relationship With The Grandparents?
The courts will also take the child's relationship with the grandparents into account. If the child is used to only seeing the grandparents on holidays or very rarely, they are less likely to win regular visitation rights than if the child was accustomed to being picked up from school and spending every afternoon with their grandparents before the divorce or death in the family.
If the visitation requested will help to maintain an already-established relationship, the judge is far more likely to award that visitation than if there wasn't a bond formed between the child and the grandparents previously. To learn more, contact an attorney like Marlene Dancer Adams.