Do grandparents have child custody rights? 22 Answers as of June 02, 2013

Does my mom have grandparent rights?

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The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
Not much, but some. It depends many times on a case-by-case basis.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/11/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
As a default rule, there is no such thing as Grandparent Rights to Grandchildren. There are exceptions and grandparents can attain rights through a couple mechanisms, but in general, a Grandparent has no right to walk into a court and demand visitation, access or possession of a grandchild.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/11/2011
AyerHoffman, LLP
AyerHoffman, LLP | Cara Lee Thompson
I refer you to the seminal Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville, wherein the Supreme Court held that "[t]he custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. A law that allows anyone to petition a court for child visitation rights over parental objections unconstitutionally infringes on parents' fundamental right to rear their children." Therefore, Troxel stands for the premise that a grandparent may have visitation rights with their grandchild, but only within the parameters permitted by the birth parent. Only when a birth parent is deemed "unfit" does Troxel give way to supreme visitation/custodial right of the grandparent over the parent's wishes.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 11/10/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/2/2013
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
Only visitation rights and only if the Court so says upon petition. But no custody rights unless the children are at risk.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/10/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    After recent Supreme Court cases, grandparents rarely have any rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    Grandparents do not have custody rights in Maryland.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Sometimes - a grandparent does not have the same rights as a parent, but if they have a significant bond with the child, then they can petition for grandparent visitation. The test is for the court to determine what plan would be in the best interests of the minor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    The Courts can award grandparents custody only under limited circumstances where the parents do not consent to the grandparents having custody. Another consideration would be for the grandparents to adopt, if the parents consent to the adoption. Your mom might also have visitation rights. It is difficult to provide more information this way. I would recommend retaining counsel, or at least look for an attorney who offers free consultations. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Grandparent rights are significantly limited in Colorado and depend upon the specific facts and circumstances. Generally, a grandparent has no "rights" simply because she is a grandparent; there must be other circumstances that justify considering the award of any rights by a court. Until there is a court order, a grandparent has no rights against the parent.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/10/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    No, not in Florida.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, grandparents have rights. However, these rights are not as expansive of those of parents. A grandparent also usually has to prove that there is an existing relationship with the child first in order to get visitation rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    The California Family Code Section 3103 sets out grandparent's rights when the parents are involved in a divorce action. It provides that a court may grant reasonable visitation to a grandparent of minor child of a party in a court action if the court determines that visitation by the grandparent is in the best interest of the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer would depend on the particular circumstances. Minnesota Statutes grants rights to pursue grand parenting time to those grandparents who have a child that is a parent and who has been divorced, legally separated or where there has been some adjudication of paternity. Jurisdiction may also occur if the grandparents have cared for the grandchildren in their home for one year or more.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC
    Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC | Lenore Tsakanikas
    A.R.S. 25-409 sets out the critera for grandparent visitation and A.R.S. 25-415 provides for custody by a non parent. In order to obtain visitation rights pursuant to A.R.S. 25-409, a court would have to find that visitation is in the best interest of the minor child. The court would also have to find that any of the following is true: 1) the marriage of the parents has been dissolved for at least three months; 2) a parent of the child has been deceased or missing for at least three months; 3) the child was born out of wedlock. In order to obtain custody and/or visitation pursuant to A.R.S. 25-415, a court would have to find that all of the following are true: 1) the person filing the petition has acted as a parent to the child; 2) it would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the custody of either of the child's living parents who wish to retain or obtain custody; 3) a court has not entered or approved an order concerning custody within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this statute (unless there is a serious danger to the child). One of the following would also have to apply: 1) one of the parents is deceased; 2) the child's legal parents were not married at the time the petition was filed; 3) there is a pending proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. Believe it or not, this is a short answer to a very complicated question. There is also substantial amount of case law discussing grandparent's rights. You need to contact an attorney with regard to the specific circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, grand parents could have a tough time seeking custody against a parent, but each situation is different, so they should consult with an attorney ASAP and ask about deprivation actions, too. They may also ask their attorney about other grand parents' rights in Georgia, including visitation rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Yes, in Massachusetts a grandparent has visitation rights, but these rights must be defined and enforced with a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    No. There are no special grandparent rights in the state of Washington. There was a statute granting them some rights. However, that statute (RCW 26.09.240) was declared unconstitutional in about 2005. Therefore, grandparents are just third parties.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Not unless she files a third party custody action and proves both parent unfit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Bruning & Associates, PC
    Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
    Illinois law provides for specific grandparent rights. The rights of grandparents are limited to specific circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/9/2011
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