Understanding a Grandparent’s Rights

In years past, grandparents played a pivotal role in the rearing of children. Although the American culture may rely on grandparents less than they did before, their role in their grandchild’s life remains extremely important. Grandchildren who have grandparents who care enough to be involved in their lives are more fortunate than grandchildren who don’t get the opportunity to share in that special bond.

Ideally, a child will get to enjoy a relationship with their grandparents and their natural parents will encourage that relationship. But, other times a relationship between the parents and grandparents will sour and the relationship they previously enjoyed with their grandchildren becomes strained, or it becomes non-existent. This can be very tragic for both the grandparents and the grandchildren, especially if they already had a very strong bond.

Problems between the grandparents and their own children can arise on their own; when this happens they can be denied access to their grandchildren. However, the more common scenario has to do with times when their son or daughter gets a divorce. When their daughter-in-law or their son-in-law is granted custody of the children, they may not allow their in-laws to visit with the children. This denial of access to the grandchildren can be extremely heartbreaking for the grandparents, and it can affect the children as well.

One of the most common reasons for a grandparent to petition the courts is for custody of their grandchildren. This typically occurs when the natural birth parents are not “fit” to raise the children. It can be increasingly difficult for a grandparent to observe the fact that their grandchildren are in a position of either abuse or neglect, and when occurs, many grandparents will petition the courts for physical custody of the children, and it may be granted.

The courts would much prefer to see abused or neglected children remain within their own family, and cared for by family members than be left to the system for placement in a foster home. The burden of proof will be up to the grandparents and their attorney to provide enough evidence to the courts that will explain why it is in the best interests of the children to be removed from their natural parents. However, it is not an impossible task. If the grandparents are petitioning the courts for custody, and if they have a solid base for their petition, they may very well be granted custody of their grandchildren and they can be removed from their natural birth parents.

Grandparents are extremely important, and their relationship with their grandchildren should always be encouraged. Children have nothing to lose by receiving love and support from their grandparents, and that bond should be supported by the children’s parents as well. When that is not possible, and when there is a problem with the birth parents, a grandparent may benefit from hiring an attorney.

A lawyer will be able to petition the courts for you, and they will be able to gather important information and present it to the courts in the appropriate manner. There will be particular information that the courts will need to see before they can make a determination in your favor. So please, contact a family lawyer so that you can have the best possible chances of retaining or gaining rights to your grandchildren. The sooner you get started; the sooner things will start moving. The family court process can take months to come to a final decision, so take action now by contacting a family lawyer today!