Policies Surrounding Grandparent Visitation
There are many states that allow for grandparents visitation rights to be taken advantage of by grandparents who need legal help to see their grandchildren. However, in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled grandparents visitation are unconstitutional since parents should have the control over their children’s lives and who they see or do not see. Even though grandparents visitation rights exist in some states, the states are looking into their existing policies are looking into them to see if they are in fact constitutional.
While states like California, Florida and Ohio have decided that their grandparents visitation rights are unconstitutional, other states like Mississippi and Arizona still allow grandparents visitation. However, the grandparents do have to prove that there are being completely denied of their grandparents visitation when petitioning the court. There are other states that are quicker to allow grandparents visitation rights to be fought for and won just as there are states that do not allow the parent’s wishes to be overridden under any circumstances, unless the parents are determined to be unfit to raise a child.
It is generally agreed that grandparents should study the grandparents visitation rights in their state, since grandparents visitation rights vary so drastically depending on the state. The first step that grandparents should always take is discussing the situation with the child’s parents. Sometimes, an agreement can be worked out without involving the courts. There are counselors and mediators available to help to try to resolve disputes involving grandparents visitation rights. If a counselor can be used to speak with the parents of the child and the grandparents regarding their grandparents visitation wishes, then involving the court is unnecessary.
If there is still no resolution and the grandparents find they have to go to court to fight for their grandparents visitation rights, than they must prove in court they have a close and long-lasting relationship with their grandchildren. It must be proven that is in the child’s best interest for a couple to try to exercise their grandparents visitation rights. Sending things like cards and gifts while waiting to go to court can be a good form of proof that there is a genuine desire to maintain contact with the grandchildren.
When a couple is not allowed contact with their grandchildren, there may be hurt feelings on behalf of every party involved. If solving the problem through mediators or counselors does not work, it may be necessary to petition the courts so that a couple can use their grandparents visitation rights. Finding out the state laws on the subject of grandparents visitation policies can help couples understand the process they will be dealing with and what options are open to them.