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When do grandparents have visitation rights in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Grandparents' Rights

Grandparents are often a part of their grandchildren’s lives, and there may be times when they play a heavy role in caring for them. Most grandparents want to see their grandchildren, even if their children and spouses get divorced.

In some cases, grandparents may find that it’s difficult to get as much visitation time as they’d like. In those cases, it’s reasonable to look into visitation options and to see if the courts can help.

Indiana allows grandparent visitation orders in some cases

Every state treats grandparent visitation orders differently, but in Indiana, the law allows grandparents to seek visitation time in the case of a divorce, when a child has been born out of wedlock and if one of the children’s parents has died.

For example, if your son divorces your daughter-in-law, you may petition to have a visitation schedule with your grandchildren. You may also be able to do so if your unmarried son seeks a DNA test and receives a positive paternity test. Finally, if your child has died, you may be able to seek visitation rights with your grandchildren.

Grandparents, on the whole, may not seek visitation rights if both parents are together and married.

Is it as easy as applying for visitation time?

No, it’s not. Grandparents need to show that seeing their grandchildren is in their grandchildren’s best interests. They have to prove that they’ve been attempting to have meaningful contact with their grandchildren or that they previously had meaningful contact in their lives. The grandchildren may be interviewed, if they’re old enough, and the court may consider their responses when deciding if a visitation order is appropriate.

When can’t grandparents seek visitation time?

Usually, grandparents cannot seek visitation time after their grandchild is adopted by someone outside of the family. They also may not seek visitation if the grandchildren’s family is intact.

Grandparent visitation is a tough topic, and not all grandparents have options to seek visitation. However, if you’re concerned that you’re not able to see your grandchildren enough or have evidence that being in their life is in their best interests, then you may have legal options to pursue.