Published Articles

Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

February 3rd, 2010

It Depends;

Over the last several decades, many grandparents have been denied visitation rights after divorce. In response, grandparents have joined together to get laws passed giving grandparents the right to petition for visitation in the case of divorce or parental death.

One by one, these laws were adopted in various forms, until all states had one. However, once the laws were established, it was found that grandparents who had visitation in one state would have to litigate all over again if their grandchild’s custodial parent moved to another state.

The Visitation Rights Enforcement Act was signed into law back in 1998 and was an improvement in achieving a uniform state visitation law making provisions for grandparent visitation consistent from state to state.

It guaranteed that grandparents can visit their grandchildren anywhere in the United States as long as they have visitation rights in one state. There are many Attornies that help with visitation at a low cost.

Parents may obstruct this visitation;
In the landmark 2000 case of Troxel v. Granville, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a Washington State law went too far in permitting a judge to order visiting rights for grandparents over a mother’s objection.

The Court ruled that parents “have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control” of their children. The court offered no guidance regarding the constitutional legality of similar laws in the 49 other states where other such laws have been passed. The findings stated that the law had been unconstitutionally applied to court ordered visits by the grandparents in the case in question.

In this particular case, the grandparents, Gary and Jenifer Troxel petitioned the Court to allow them to visit the children of their late son who had committed suicide. No claim was made that the mother was an unfit parent. The mother of the children was willing to allow some visitation rights to the grandparents, but not the requested 2 weekend a month schedule.

The mother’s attorney argued that in the absence of any evidence that the children were being harmed; the parent should have absolute veto power as to who should be allowed to visit her children. The grandparents’ attorney argued that the state has the power to pass such a law.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor represented the majority stating that “So long as a parent adequately cares for his or her children (i.e., is fit), there will normally be no reason for the state to inject itself into the private realm of the family to further question the ability of that parent to make the best decisions concerning the rearing of that parent’s children.”

In his dissenting minority opinion Justice Arthur M. Kennedy stated that the court should have confronted rather than have avoided the question as to the constitutionality of laws regarding visitation rights being in the best interests of the children.

In his view such laws could be constitutional if directed to people who had acted “in a care-giving role over a significant period of time.” In his dissent Justice John Paul Stevens warned against adopting a rule that would allow parents to exercise “arbitrary” power over their children’s contact with other adults.

In summary, fit parents have the exclusive legal right to determine who visits their children. So, grandparents must – no matter how difficult it may be – try to get along with their sons, daughters, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law because, in most instances, they alone can determine visitation.

How to Win Visitation Rights

January 8th, 2010

Visitation is a right to Fathers and Mother even granparents, but it’s a right that can be removed also. Many people attempt to face the courts without any Legal Aid. The laws that exist are there to protect you, the problem is who can interpet them? When dealing with the courts you need proper Forms to be filled and Instruction on how to file properly. Every State has different Strategies For gaining Visitation rights. There is a Guide To Enforcing child visitation rights that certain local legal aid offices have but be careful to do your due dilligence before running into court.
Speak to an Attorney about your case or situation. There are many services out there who have low cost options to explore. You have rights and they need to be protected.

First Steps to Take for Grandparent Visitation

January 8th, 2010

First Steps to Gain Visitation

The Best Starting point is to meet with an attorney who is experienced in child custody cases. The lawyer will help guide you through the legal process and will assist you in getting together what you need to make your case.
Sometimes a mediator is used to help families work through visitation situations on their own. If you do need to go to court remember that you are doing what is best for your grandchildren and you want to help them grow up with your love and support.

Hopefully, if you follow these guidelines for custody and visitation, you will be able to spend time with your grandchildren. It’s important to remain positive and to not give up hope. Keep working to ensure the best for your grandchildren. Speak to a professional that deals with visitation laws of your state. Legal aid can help sometimes but remember that it takes time.

3 Points to Consider About Visitation Rights Of A Father

January 1st, 2010

1. One of the first things to understand about visitation is the court ruling itself. Often it is where your minimum rights of visitation will be spelled out, including any particular conditions relating to when you may begin a visit and when the visit is to end. Depending on what you cultivate with your former spouse, you may be able to work out more frequent visitation, but keep in mind those extras are not guaranteed and take place only because of the willingness of the custodial parent.

2.Because child custody laws vary so much across the board, your best bet is to acquaint yourself with the particulars of the jurisdiction that is responsible for managing the custody, guardianship, and visitation rights that were established by the courts. You will find that the court system will point you to the actual laws governing your situation. Unless you are well acquainted with the verbiage used in the law making process, simply reading the text of the laws may not help you a great deal. In cases like these, child custody lawyers will help you understand your visitation rights as a non-custodial parent. Along with those rights, you need to understand your avenues of recourse in the event you are denied visitation rights, as well as what actions can be taken against you in the event you are unable to provide court-ordered child support.

3.Another excellent avenue for understanding your visitation rights is to align yourself with organizations in your area that have a vested interest in the welfare of your child and his or her relationship with you. One such organization is the Child Rights Council, which has chapters all across the United States. Operating from the foundational principle that all children have an inherent right to a healthy and rewarding relationship with both parents, the Council can help point you in the direction of valuable resources. These resources can help you understand and claim your rights as a father and as a non-custodial parent, while still promoting a healthy interaction between you, your former spouse, and your child.