Court Considerations - Grandparent Visitation and Custody

Court Considerations: Grandparent Visitation and Custody

The laws encompassing grandparent’s visitation rights differ state to state but are always meant to support the child’s best interests. For example, state laws are likely to support grandparent custody (presuming they’re suited to be guardians) should the biological parent(s) be deemed unfit for caring for their child or have passed away. Visitation may also be awarded where it can be proven the child is going to benefit from the relationship with their grandparent(s), when it’s otherwise not being encouraged through the parents.

Courts are only going to decree grandparent visitation or custody if specific conditions summarized in state statutes are fulfilled. In a lot of cases, the terms necessary for grandparent custody actions are totally separate from the terms necessary for grandparent visitation rights actions. It’s vital to comprehend the court judgements in these specific cases prior to filing a request for grandparent visitation or custody through the court.

Court Considerations for Grandparent Visitation or Custody: Childs Best Interests

In every state, the Court is required to consider the “child’s best interests” when ruling on a case involving minor children. Therefore, this “best interest” convention is used by Courts when establishing whether to award custody or visitation rights to a grandparent. In many states, the “best interest” statute offers a list of aspects the court should consider when establishing what outcome of the visitation or custody case. Other states don’t offer a list of aspects in the statute, however, courts in those states usually recognizing aspects in custody and visitation cases by following the state statutes.

The below aspects have been commonly used in many jurisdictions to establish the child’s best interest involved in the custody or visitation disagreement:

  • The child’s needs, including considerations of the emotional and physical health, the safety, and the welfare of the child
  • The capability of the parents and/or grandparents to fulfill the child’s needs
  • The wants of the parent(s) and the grandparent(s)
  • The wants of the child, should the child be able of making decisions for themselves
  • The durability of the relationship among the grandparent(s) and grandchild
  • The time of the relationship among the grandparent(s) and grandchild
  • Proof of neglect or abuse by the parent(s) or grandparent(s)
  • Proof of drug/ alcohol abuse by the parent(s) or grandparent(s)
  • The child’s adaptation to the home, school, or community
  • The capability of the parent(s) or grandparent(s) to supply affection, love, and contact with the child
  • The distance between the child and the parent(s) or grandparent(s)

What if the Biological Parent is Abusive?

If grandparents can prove that a parent is abusive, incapable, or unfit, courts are much more inclined to award permissible (and in many instances permanent) rights to grandparents when it’s in the child’s best interest. Courts usually prefer visitation and/or custody (typically temporary) throughout the divorce period additionally.

Court Reflections for Grandparent Custody and Visitation vs. Mediation

It’s typically best to attempt to resolve grandparenting time issues cordially, instead of through the courts. It might be that the parent that is declining access is going to be compliant to having the disagreement mediated by a knowledgeable professional. It is usually wise to make litigation a last resort — to only be used when all else has been unsuccessful.

Acquire Legal Assistance with Your Grandparent Visitation and/ or Custody Case

Court deliberations for child custody and visitation petitions differ widely by state. In a lot of cases, it’s wise to think about consulting a family law attorney for guidance. An attorney can help you in understanding your states laws, establishing the correct approach to child custody and visitation, and, when needed, making your case to the courts. Get a hold of an experienced family law attorney near you today.


  1. Staff, F. L. (2022, July 11). Court considerations: Grandparent visitation and custody. Findlaw. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

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An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


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