You don't have to lose the ability to visit your grandchildren because of a falling-out with their parents or a death in the family. Come to the Law Office of Sallie L. Rubenzer and find out if pursuing grandparent visitation could be an option for you.
In order to be granted visitation when the child's parents have been married, you have to meet three general requirements:
• The parents must have been married to each other and must either be divorced or in the process of getting one
• You must be the child's grandparent or great grandparent, stepparent or a person who has maintained a relationship similar to a parent-child relationship
• You must prove that having visitation is in the best interests of the child.
If the parents of the child haven't been married and the child hasn't been adopted, you may petition for visitation. In order to prove that this visitation is in the best interests of the child, you must have either developed a relationship with the child in the past or tried to develop one. Also, you must show that you are not likely to act in a way that is contrary to the decisions of their parent or legal guardian.
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In order for a person who is not the parent of a child to be granted visitation with a child in a situation where the parents have been married, they must meet three requirements: 1. The parents must have been married to each other and are either divorced or a divorce is pending before the court; 2. The person petitioning the court must fall into any of the following categories to have standing, or the right, to petition the court: a grandparent, a great grandparent, a stepparent or person who has maintained a relationship with the child similar to a parent-child relationship and 3. Once it is determined that the person petitioning the court has standing, the party must then show that the visitation is in the best interest of the child, which is shown through a number of statutory factors.
The standard is somewhat different in paternity cases. Grandparents may petition for visitation in paternity cases when the parents of the child have not married each other and the child has not been adopted. The grandparent must have also maintained a relationship with the child or attempted to maintain a relationship with the child. Grandparents under this section must show not only that visitation is in the best interests of the child but that they are not likely to act in a manner contrary to the decisions made by the child's legal custodian.