As a grandparent who loves their grandchildren, you would prefer to spend as much time with them as possible. Unfortunately, when you don’t see eye to eye with the parents of your grandchild, your access to them could abruptly end.
Especially in situations where your child and the other parent are no longer in a relationship, you could find yourself unfairly deprived of time and communication with your grandchildren. This disruption to your relationship won’t just hurt you. It will likely also cause harm to the children as well.
Does Indiana state law protect your right to have visitation with your grandchildren?
State law does include grandparent visitation provisions
For several years, Indiana state law has provided legal recourse for those denied time with their grandchildren. However, the law only applies in one specific scenario. When the parents of the children are no longer married, grandparents can potentially go to court to ask for visitation rights even if the other parent would prefer to deny them access.
A judge can then review the situation and potentially order visitation for the grandparent. To secure grandparent visitation, a grandparent typically means to have a pre-existing relationship with the grandchildren so that they can show that their visitation with the grandchildren would be in their best interests.
Going to court likely won’t make the situation worse
Many grandparents want to see their grandchildren but hesitate to ask the family courts for help. They tell themselves that if they keep making frequent, kind inquiries that the parent currently refusing to let them see the grandchildren will have a change of heart. They may worry that going to court will cause even more severe damage to their relationship with the children’s parent.
Truthfully, the situation is already as bad as it could get. Openly refusing to give you access to your grandchildren is about as hostile as the other parent could be. Although they may have a strong, negative emotional reaction to your decision to file a visitation request, their emotions won’t determine the outcome.
They will have to abide by the judge’s order regardless of how negative or hostile they become. In the long term, they may come to respect you when they realize that everything you did came from a place of deep love for your grandchildren. Learning about and asserting your rights as a grandparent will benefit you and the grandchildren that you love.