Maintaining Intergenerational Bonds
Grandparents Have Certain Rights
Grandparents who wish to have a relationship with their grandchildren do not always face an easy road. Tensions with one or both parents, death of a parent or divorce and remarriage can all complicate grandparents’ efforts to stay in touch, in some cases causing a tragic loss of the relationship. Unless parents are deceased or deemed somehow to be unfit, they generally maintain control over decisions about who their children can and cannot visit. But this doesn’t mean that grandparents have no rights. At Marinaro Law, we can help grandparents understand and enforce their rights to visit and stay in contact with their grandchildren.
Do Grandparents’ Rights Include The Right To Visit?
Obviously the easiest scenario is if grandparents have a cooperative relationship with the parents who freely allow visits. If grandparents are experiencing challenges when they try to visit their grandchildren, any petition they make must establish that their visitation rights would be in the child’s best interest. Their visits also must not create a negative impact on the parents.
What About Custody?
Under normal circumstances, custody will always be granted first to any living parent. But there are many less-than-ideal circumstances in which the parents may be unavailable or unable to care for their children. Grandparents may be able to petition for custody if, for example:
- The parent or parents are deceased
- The parent or parents are found to be unfit (for example, addicted to drugs)
It’s not enough to be unhappy with the way your grandchild is being raised. In order to be considered for custody, a court must find the parents unfit, and find that it’s in the child’s best interest to remain with their grandparent(s).
Discuss Your Situation With A Lawyer
An attorney at our firm can answer questions related to your specific circumstances when you come in for an initial consultation at our Lancaster, Pennsylvania, office. To schedule an appointment, call 717-397-7055 or toll free at 866-614-6520, or use our online email tool.