In an acrimonious divorce, grandparents can sometimes get caught in the crossfire. Keeping a child away from his or her grandparents is sometimes viewed as a way to punish the other spouse, but it can be more harmful to the child and grandparents. If you are going through a divorce, here is what you need to know about ensuring your parents continue to have a relationship with your child.
Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?
Most states have laws in place that allow for grandparents to receive visitation rights. The extent of those rights varies from state to state. The court recognizes that a continuing relationship with the grandparents and the grandchild is good for his or her emotional health. This is especially true if your parents have been caretakers for the child.
Although your state might provide opportunities for your parents to visit with their grandchild, you could run into roadblocks if your soon-to-be ex is reluctant to allow visitation with them. In an ideal situation, your spouse would recognize the importance of the relationship, but if he or she does not, there are a couple of options available to you and your parents.
What Can You Do?
If your spouse is unwilling to allow your parents to see their grandchild and the divorce is not final, your divorce attorney can possibly work out a visitation agreement. You and your parents might have to compromise on some issues to reach an agreement, but it is sometimes possible to settle the issue without having to go further.
Unfortunately, some spouses are unwilling to negotiate. If your spouse is not, your parents can file a petition with the court to request visitation. Before filing, they will need to review their state's laws on visitation to ensure they can meet the requirements established by the government.
Even though the laws vary by state, the courts tend to look for certain requirements. For instance, your parents will need to prove that continuing their relationship with your child would be in the best interests of him or her. If your parents have been actively involved in helping to raise the child, they could rely on their caretaking experience to help build their case.
It is important that you and your parents take the steps necessary as soon as possible. The process to gain visitation rights can take time. Failing to take action now could result in delays later that could cost your parents and child time together.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://madisonlf.com.