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What you need to know about grandparents’ visitation rights

On Behalf of | May 10, 2022 | Firm News |

The bond between a grandparent and a grandchild can be meaningful and lifelong. However, there are some situations in which grandparents are not permitted to see their grandchildren. Sometimes, this is due to the relationship between the grandchild and the child’s parent, or because the grandparent does not serve the best interest of the child. In other situations, it may be best for the grandchildren to live or visit with the grandparents. If you’re a Washington resident, here are some important things to know about grandparents’ visitation rights.

Is it legal for grandparents to have visitation?

It may be difficult for most grandparents to accept, but rarely are grandparents’ visitation rights a legal statute. While some states have tried to enact laws that protect the rights of grandparents, this is mostly been ruled unconstitutional.

Most of the time, the rights of the parents are preserved and take precedence over other individuals’ rights concerning the child. If the child is healthy and not in any danger, the courts won’t likely intervene on behalf of the grandparent.

Special circumstances

In most states, parents are the ones with the legal authority to decide what is best for the child. This means that if a parent does not think a grandparent should spend time with their grandchildren, they are legally allowed to make that decision.

However, grandparents can petition for visitation rights if the grandchild’s parent is deceased, going through a divorce, is incapacitated, or has other serious health issues. The courts will still investigate to see that the grandparents serve the child’s best interests.

It is also important to note that grandparent’s rights are usually terminated in most states if the child is adopted.