Indiana has laws that protect the rights of parents when they divorce or split up. There are also state laws that protect the rights of grandparents. Grandparents can request visitation rights if their child no longer has the legal authority to grant them access to the children.
Grandparent visitation benefits some children, but it might put others at risk. After all, a parent with toxic behaviors likely learned those attitudes from their parents. Can a concerned custodial parent provide input for the courts when a grandparent requests visitation rights in Indiana?
Visitation rights should benefit the children, not just the grandparents
When an Indiana family law judge has to make decisions about custody issues, their focus should always be on what will benefit the children, rather than what the parents claim to want or need. That best interests standard still applies when a grandparent is the one who wants to assert their right to see or spend time with the children.
Parents who have concerns about a grandparent’s visitation because of their abusive behavior, mental health issues or history of addiction can provide information about those concerns to the court. Both personal and official documentation supporting your claims can help you protect your children from spending unsupervised time with an unstable family member.
You will have the opportunity to present your side of the situation to a judge, and they may deny the visitation request if they agree that your decision to limit grandparent access is actually in the best interests of the children.
A compromise may be possible when a grandparent wants visitation time
If you worry about how a grandparent might interact with your children during visitation but you don’t have any documentation strong enough to convince the courts of your concerns, there is another option. You might be able to negotiate arrangements with the grandparents outside of court and have them drop the legal case.
You could, for example, agree to allow them to visit at your home or in another situation where you can directly supervise. Allowing them to attend family gatherings like birthday parties can also be a way to have them preserve their relationship with your children without allowing them to leave with your children.
Learning about grandparent’s rights and the Indiana approach to custody matters can help you better protect your children after a divorce.