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March 18, 2013

Child Custody and Support

Issues Surrounding Visitation

Do grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren?

All states have enacted laws granting grandparents a right to visit with their grandchildren, although the scope of that right varies from state to state. In most states, if the parents of a child are divorced or separated, the grandparents may seek a specific order of visitation.

Generally, an order of visitation for the grandparents will not be necessary if the grandparents will be able to see their grandchildren at times when the grandchildren are with their parent to whom the grandparent is related. If, however, such contact is not feasible because the parent does not regularly exercise visitation, then specific visitation for the grandparents may be ordered.

Most states also allow grandparent visitation if the parent to whom the grandparent is related has died. Some states also will give grandparents visitation if the child had lived with the grandparents for a significant period of time.

If the grandparent seeks visitation with the child, the grandparent must show that visitation is in the best interest if the child. This generally means the grandparents have had a good relationship with the grandchild in the past and that the grandparents will not use their visitation to undermine the child’s relationship with the parent or parents.

>>What are some typical visitation arrangements?
>>Can courts deny visitation to a parent?
>>If a parent falls behind in child support payments, can the other parent prevent him or her from seeing the child?
>>Do grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren?

Practical Law Home | Child Custody & Support Home | Deciding Factors in Awarding Child Custody
*Issues Surrounding Visitation* | Setting Guidelines for Child Support
Adjusting Child Custody Arrangements or the Amount of Child Support