Grandparent Visitation Rights

Grandparent Visitation Rights

Grandparent’s visitation rights and the visitation rights of other non-parents didn’t exist more than forty years ago. Visitation rights, not long ago, only involved the child’s parents. Presently, on the other hand, each state has created regulations to govern the visitation rights of grandparents and specific other non-parents, like foster parents, caretakes or step-parents.

These visitation regulations grant grandparents and those non-parents their legal right to visit a child. The below information explains the significance of grandparents’ rights in specific situations and the legal process involved with these delicate family matters.

State Rights

Every state has integrated legal guidelines for awarding visitation rights to grandparents. The intention of awarding them visitation rights is to enable the grandparents to maintain contact with their grandchildren.

Generally, 2 types of regulations exist: restrictive visitation regulations and permissive visitation regulations. Restrictive visitation regulations only enable grandparents to pursue visitation rights when the parents have got divorced or if one or both parents have passed away.

A lot of states allow more room when granting visitation, nevertheless. These types of tolerant visitation regulations allow a grandparent or another 3rd party to petition for visitation even when both parents are still living or are still married. Under these circumstances, the court is going to assess if the suggested child visitation arrangement is in the child’s best interest.

The U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Grandparental Visitation Rights

Since parents have a primary right under the Constitution to make decisions concerning the raising of their children, the implementation of some states’ visitation regulations has led to constitutional difficulties. In Troxel v. Granville, grandparents requested for visitation rights after the mother, Tommie Granville, restricted visitations to once a month and certain holidays.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the implementation of the Washington regulations violated Granville’s right being a parent to make decisions concerning the “care, custody, and control” of her children. The Court, however, did not conclude on whether all non-parent visitation regulations are in violation of the constitution; it limited its decision to the Washington regulation in question.

As-is that law would have allowed a court to overrule a parent’s decision concerning the visitation of a grandparent or any other individual pursuing to obtain visitation rights, even when the parent was ideally suitable to make such a decision. The regulation allowed any individual to petition for visitation rights and allowed a judge to grant visitation should the judge determine that it was in the child’s best interest, decisively overruling the suitable parent’s decision. The Court held that, by authorizing judges this power, the Washington regulation violated parents’ primary right to raise their children.

The Troxel Impact

Since the Supreme Court did not conclude that visitation regulations are unconstitutional in itself, each state still enables 3rd party petitioners to pursue visitation rights. A lot of states, specifically those with permissive regulations, consider 3rd party visitation rights as an entitlement that only requires a small burden on parents’ right to control the raising of their children.

Following the ruling of Troxel, nevertheless, states now give significant compliance to a suitable parent’s choice of what is best for their child in weighing whether to grant visitation rights. Obviously, an individual wanting to understand 3rd party visitation standards in their state needs to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney near them

Prior to Seeking Court-Mandated Visitation Rights

Oftentimes a dispute concerning grandparental visitation rights can be resolved devoid of seeking court-ordered visitation. Mediation is usually a productive way for settling disputes devoid of going to court.

Through mediation, an unbiased 3rd party is going to help the parties communicate and come to a legally binding solution that is beneficial to both sides. Ideally, parties will come to an agreement with less animosity and less cost legally.

Require Legal Help With Grandparental Visitation Rights? Get a hold of a Family Law Attorney

Do you have a the right for visiting with your grandchildren? The answer is absolutely in a lot of cases, but every situation varies. At its best, you should be able to hash out an arrangement to see your grandchildren devoid of the court getting involved.

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit with your grandchildren. Your closeness in their lives might be healthy for everyone involved. More importantly, it could be what’s best for the children’s welfare. Locate a knowledgeable family law attorney to assist you with this personal issue.


  1. Staff, F. L. (2021, November 22). Grandparent visitation rights. Findlaw. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from

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