Divorce may greatly influence family dynamics, especially when it comes to grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren. Many grandparents are concerned about their ability to establish relationships with their grandkids after a divorce. A divorce attorney can assist you in this situation, so get expert advice on divorce in San Antonio, Texas, today.
Understanding grandparent rights
When a parent has parental rights, it typically implies that they have the right to play an active role in their children’s lives, even if they do not live with the child’s other parent. Unless parents are abusive, negligent, or have another severe difficulty, parents usually have the legal right to have custody of their children or have frequent visitation with them.
The rights of grandparents, on the other hand, are unique. Grandparents do not necessarily have a legal right to visit their grandchildren. While there are specific instances in which grandparents can petition a court for visitation or custody, the regulations governing when and how this occurs differ by state.
Child custody and grandparent rights
In most cases, grandparents seeking custody must demonstrate that the child’s biological parents are unsuitable. Alternatively, they must demonstrate that living with them is in the kid’s best interests. This is often a complicated legal process that differs by state law and depends on various circumstances. Furthermore, if the custodial parents oppose, the grandparents may have to go to court to seek visitation or custody.
The United States Supreme Court has declared that biological parents’ parenting rights are fundamental. However, in Troxel v. Granville (2000), the court found that grandparents may be awarded court-ordered visitation or custody in some situations. Furthermore, many state statutes are significantly wider. Siblings and other family members may be included. This is sometimes called “third party” or “nonparent” visiting privileges.
Some states are more stringent than others. They may need the death of both parents before grandparents can be granted child custody or “conservatorship.” Otherwise, grandparents must demonstrate to the court that gaining custody is in the child’s best interests. There is a legal presumption in favor of parental custody. A close relationship between the kid and the grandparent is often inadequate to overcome this preconception.
The court will ultimately decide on the custody arrangement and parenting time. The court will consider elements outlined in state law.
How do grandparent visitation rights work?
There is no need for a formal process if parents or guardians encourage or enable grandparents to visit their grandkids. However, a grandparent (or any nonparent, such as a stepparent) may petition the court for court-ordered custody or visiting rights. In this scenario, the nonparent must demonstrate that custody is in the best interests of the kid. This means that decisions should be made in the best interests of the child’s safety and well-being.