Grandparents often play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. In some situations, grandparents may want to seek a formal visitation arrangement through the court. This may apply in situations where the child’s parent is unable to care for the child or the grandparent is able to provide a more stable environment for the child.
The grandparent can petition the court for visitation with the child. When deciding whether to grant a grandparent visitation, the court will consider what is in the child’s best interest and whether the child’s health or welfare would be harmed if the visitation is not granted.
The court may consider whether the child has lived with the grandparent for six months or more, whether the grandparent has provided financial support for the child for at least one year and whether the grandparent has established a regular pattern of visitation with the child. It may also review whether there is any other circumstance that indicates the child would suffer emotional or physical harm if the visitation is not granted.
Timeline and parent input
The grandparent can petition the court for visitation no more than once every two years. The court will consider a parent’s decision regarding visitation, but the court can bypass that decision if it finds that the failure to provide visitation with the grandparent could cause the child harm.
If a grandparent would like to pursue visitation with his or her grandchild through the court, an experienced family law attorney can help.