Do grandparents have legal visitation rights with their grandchildren? 28 Answers as of May 22, 2013

My husband passed away and when I started seeing someone else, my children's grandparents started treating me bad. I stopped letting the kids see them because of how they treated us.

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Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Yes, but a denial of visitation has to be unreasonable in order for them to get a court judgment ordering visitation.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/3/2012
Nwokoye Law Firm
Nwokoye Law Firm | Violet Nwokoye
Grandparents have rights that they can petition the court for but it has to be requested for with the right petition.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/3/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
No, you have the final say in who you children spend time with. Grandparents have no custody or visitation rights.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/30/2012
Rebecca Rainwater
Rebecca Rainwater | Rebecca Rainwater
The can ask and the court will grant visitation if it finds such visittation is in the best interest of the children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/30/2012
Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
Grandparents do not have rights of visitation. It may be in the children's interest to stay connected with them, but that is your decision.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/30/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    They would have to request visitation in court. The court would weigh how they treat the children in deciding if they get some or no visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Perhaps; in Colorado grandparents can ask a court to grant visitation rights under some circumstances. You should consult an attorney to determine a better understanding of your situation. But, until the grandparents file a court action they have no rights to interfere with your parental decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    They can petition a Superior Court to obtain visitation rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Lombardi Law LLC
    Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
    In Alaska grandparents do have a right under the law to see their grandparents. This usually comes about when grandparents are seeking custody of the grandchildren or if there is an ongoing custody battle. An attorney can assist you in defending your rights if the grandparents decide to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Not in Washington.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    They have visitation rights only if the Court authorizes it. They have to file a Petition with the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer depends on the relationship of the parents. If the parents of the children are married and still together, there is no standing for a grandparent's visitation action under the statutes. If the parents were never married by paternity was adjudicated, there was a custody action or a divorce, there may be standing to assert an action to grandparents visitation. Grandparents may also assert a visitation action if the grandchildren have lived with them for a year or more.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    In certain circumstances, the court can award grandparents the right to exercise visitation with the grandchildren. I would encourage you to focus on the importance of maintaining a relationship between your children and their father's family, rather than on the way his parents have treated you. I'm sure the loss of your husband has been difficult for everyone, and the children should not have to lose anyone else. If you have additional questions about the legal aspects of this situation, I encourage you to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    Wisconsin Law does provide grandparents with rights to see their grandchild(ren) if they move to enforce those rights in court. However, grandparents visitation rights aren't as strong as parent's visitation rights.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    Yes. Grandparents of a deceased parent have standing to sue for an order granting them access. As long as both parents are neither deceased nor incarcerated, grandparents generally do not have standing to sue for access. The thinking is that the parents are presumed to have the child's best interest in mind and to have a right to determine with whom the child socializes with and under what conditions. The situation changes when one parent is no longer around so that the grandparent can have access through their own child. I would work with the grandparents on this to try to avoid litigation, if the access that they are seeking is reasonable (perhaps one weekend per month), they will work with you, and they do not pose any danger to the child's health or well-being objectively.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    No. Not in the state of Alabama if it is over the objection of a fit parent. There is a case that discusses this very issue that came down from Alabama 's Supreme Court. It says over the objection of a fit parent grandparents visitation rights are unconstitutional.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Louisiana provides for specific rights to grandparents in the event that one of the parents passes away. They have a right to request visitation with the children, but a court must find that the visitation is in "the best interests of the children" before it will award separate grandparent visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    I do not mean this in a bad way but sometimes these types of issues are better resolved through family counseling then the courts. As far as grandparents rights some jurisdictions vary on this issue but for the most part they have very little. These type of situations are unfortunate because blood is blood and that can never change, that is not saying you are the one at fault; I have seen these types of situations on a number of occasions and in the end there are never any winners. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    They can assert a visitation right in court, but until they do, you have no legal responsibility to allow visitation. That said, they CAN get a court order if they want, based on the idea that it is presumed in the best interest of your children that they continue to foster a relationship with their biological family. If these people are hurting your children physically or emotionally, by all means protect your kids. But if you are fighting an adult fight between you and the grandparents using visitation as a weapon, please relent and allow that relationship to continue.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    A parent's decision regarding grandparent visitation is presumed to be in the best interest of the children involved. However, grandparents have the right to petition a court to receive visitation with their grandchildren if they can prove that it will be in the children's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    In Georgia, grandparents generally have the right to file an action for visitation rights to a minor child or to intervene in and seek to obtain visitation rights in any action in which any court in this state shall have before it any question concerning the custody of a minor child or a divorce of the parents in addition to several other situations. The law does not authorize an original action where the parents of the minor child are not separated and the child is living with both of the parents. The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparents if the court finds that the health or welfare of the child would be harmed unless such visitation is granted, and if the best interests of the child would be served by such visitation. There is no presumption in favor of visitation by any grandparent. The following questions should be considered: (1) What are the current circumstances surrounding the custody of the child? (2) Will the denial of visitation to the grandparents harm the child? (3) Is the award of visitation to the grandparents in the best interests of the child? (4) Will an award of visitation rights to the grandparents best promote the welfare and happiness of the child?
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    They do, but it is complicated and difficult for them to pursue. The bottom line is for now, if there is no order specifically granting them visitation with the grandchildren, then they only get to see the kids when you allow them to do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Grandparents do not have automatic or inherent rights to visitation with grandchildren.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Alabama passed a grandparent's visitation statute, but the courts have gutted it so that it no longer exists really. How your husband's parents treat you is unfortunate, but you are denying your children the memories of their grandparents. I hope you and they can work out your differences and maintain a relationship between your children and them. Your kids only get one childhood.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2013
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