For many people, the relationship they have with their grandchildren is the most important thing in their life. This bond is often beneficial for the children as well, especially in situations where grandparents have raised them as their own.
If you believe your relationship with your grandchild is at risk for any reason, a skilled family attorney is available to help. Under certain circumstances, visitation or custody rights might be available to you. Let a Crabapple grandparents’ rights lawyer be your advocate in the fight for this important relationship.
Grandparents do not have an inherent right to visitation with their grandchildren. However, family law does provide a few situations where these individuals can petition the court for visitation with a grandchild. The law only provides for these rights in cases where the parental unit is no longer intact. If the parents of the child are married or live together, a grandparent cannot petition for visitation under any circumstance. Outside of this scenario, a grandparent can exercise these rights.
This approach is most common during or shortly after divorce proceedings. When grandparents are afraid that they will no longer have access to the children due to hostility with one or both parents, they can file a petition for visitation with the courts.
There are other steps that must be taken before the courts will award visitation. For example, there must be evidence that ending the close relationship with a grandparent is harmful to the child. It must also be shown that extending visitation rights is in a child’s best interests. A grandparents’ rights attorney in Crabapple can answer any questions about opportunities for visitation.
There is a presumption under the law that parents are fit to raise their kids. The unfortunate reality is that this is not always the case. When there is evidence that parents are unfit, a grandparents’ rights attorney in Crabapple might be able to petition for custody. Overcoming the default presumption requires clear evidence that goes beyond proving that a child would be better off in the custody of a grandparent. A legal team must show that there is an immediate risk of physical or emotional harm if the child remains in the custody of their parent.
When allegations of abuse or neglect are made against the parents, the court will typically order a psychological observation of the child. Experts will evaluate the juvenile as well as their home life to determine if the environment provided by the parents is safe. If the judge finds the parents are unfit, they can award custody to the grandparents. In this situation, the grandparents become legal guardians and make important decisions for the child’s life. This includes everything from medical decisions to choices about their education.
This area of family law is complex, and biological parents often have a chance to reclaim their rights in the future. Fortunately, our dedicated legal team is prepared to support grandparents in these situations.
When couples separate, their personal conflicts can spread and interfere with the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents. As a grandparent, you have rights related to visitation with your grandchild. However, you will need to act quickly to ensure these rights are protected.
Put your trust in the hands of a Crabapple grandparents’ rights lawyer. Call our team today to get started.