Staying Connected To Grandchildren

Parents aren't the only ones with concerns about the outcome of child custody disputes. Grandparents often fear that they'll lose contact with grandchildren after a divorce, if their child is the noncustodial parent. These fears may be well-founded if the divorce was particularly acrimonious. The good news is that grandparents do have rights to visitation in certain circumstances. The bad news is that those circumstances are somewhat limited.

Where Visitation Is Allowed

If the parents of a child were unmarried, grandparents may request visitation rights to their grandchildren. For paternal grandparents, however, paternal custody must be legally documented before they can take advantage of visitation rights. Grandparents also have rights to visit their grandchild if the parent of the grandchild has died or if the parents have gotten a divorce in Indiana.

Navigating Parental Input

Being legally allowed to request visitation, however, doesn't guarantee that grandparents will be granted visitation orders: It simply means they may make a request. A court will take into consideration parents' input about the request. For example, if the grandparent had little to no prior contact with the children or if the grandparents have a particularly hostile relationship with the custodial parent, this may compromise a request for visitation.

Seeking a legal order for visitation rights shouldn't be a grandparent's first course of action. Communicating with the parents directly can sometimes yield good results without having to resort to the courtroom.

Talk To A Lawyer

Grandparents who qualify under the law may be able to establish visitation time. When you come in for your initial consultation with an attorney at our Indianapolis office, we can evaluate your situation and present you with a nuanced perspective of what you might expect. Call us at 317-643-6266 or contact us online to learn more.