It’s understandable that divorcing parents must discuss custody and visitation of their children during divorce proceedings, but there is another type of visitation becoming common as well. More and more, grandparents are petitioning the courts to request regular visitation schedules with their grandchildren as a formal part of the divorce process.
The Basic Rights of Grandparents
Grandparents have two basic rights with regard to their grandchildren. These are custody and visitation. These are defined as follows:
- Custody – This is the legal rights and obligations uniform with those of full-time parenting and child raising. A pronouncement of this caliber necessitates a serious commitment from the grandparents as well as the approval of the court if the biological parents are unwilling to give up custody.
- Visitation – This is a detailed schedule lining out times where the children are expected to spend time with their grandchildren. State to state, the applicable laws will vary, so it’s imperative to be clear on which of these laws apply to your specific situation.
Obtaining Visitation of Your Grandchildren
In some circumstances, it may be suitable for a grandparent to file for visitation rights. If the divorce has become particularly unpleasant and a custody battle has flared up, the court may order visitation as a way of providing the grandchild(ren) with a sense of steadiness and security. This really rings true in instances where the grandparents in question are the parents of the divorcing parent who does not have custody.
Court Ordered Visitation
Many states have passed legislation in recent years which grants rights to grandparents requesting court ordered visitation with their grandchild(ren). The intent behind these laws is to acknowledge the significance of a steady relationship between grandparents and their grandchild(ren).
At the offices of Gary J. Natale, P.C., we offer free initial consultations to any potential client who has concerns about grandparents’ rights or any other family law topic. To talk over your concerns with an experienced grandparents’ rights lawyer, contact us to make an appointment.