Grandparents in each state in the US have rights, in some cases, to be granted custody of their grandchildren or to be granted court-mandated ordered with their grandchildren. Grandparents’ rights don’t come out of the Constitution, nor were they conventionally in existence. Acknowledgment of grandparents’ rights by state law is a current trend, and most of the regulations awarding these rights have been effective for less than thirty-five years.
Fundamentals of Grandparent Visitation Rights
The key factor of allowing grandparents visitation rights is that a child needs to have their grandparents, and other family members, in their lives so they grow up to be well-mannered adults. Grandparent visitation statutes usually expand visitation rights to other relatives, also, including brothers and sisters. If this is the case, it might be known as “3rd party visitation rights” or “non-parent visitation rights.”
Visitation rights for non-parents are most general when a child’s immediate family is estranged. Often, meaning their parents are divorced, and the child is benefit by having their grandparents in their lives, even if the child’s custodial parent isn’t in agreement. In other cases, non-parent visitation rights are awarded when a child gets adopted or placed in foster care. Courts have the potential to award non-parent visitation if the child has been adopted or has been placed in foster care, since the biological parents’ wishes of the child are a non-issue.
Applying for Grandparent Visitation Rights
When a non-parent petitions a court for visitation rights, they must demonstrate that visitation is in the child’s best interest. When establishing if visitation rights are fitting, courts consider a several aspects, including:
- The non-parent and child’s relationship;
- The non-parent’s relationship between the child’s parent or guardian;
- The last time the child was in contact with the non-parent;
- The impact the visitation is going to have on the relationship among child and legal guardian;
- The way grandparent visitation is going to affect the visiting time the child has with their biological parents or other relatives;
- Any record of emotional, physical, sexual and/or abuse and/or carelessness by the non-parent; and
- Any other aspects that the court deems is pertinent to awarding or denying non-parent visitation rights.
Federal law may impact grandparents’ rights, though these rights are primarily based on state law. Congress passed the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act in 1980, in which necessitates that each state provides complete faith and credit to child custody orders from other states. Federal law passed in 1998 also necessitates that courts in each state acknowledge and enforce grandparental visitation decrees from courts in other states.
Every state has implemented a version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA, previously the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act), in which necessitates courts in the state where a child lives to acknowledge and enforce official child custody decrees from another state. Though the UCCJEA is not a federal regulation, the condition of this uniform law as implemented in each state are comparable.
Constitutionality of State Laws
Many courts have established that state laws providing visitation to grandparents are unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court in the case of Troxel v. Granville (2000) established that the Washington visitation statute was in violation of the due process rights of parents to bring up their children. This case and likewise decisions by state courts caused a lot of state legislatures to think about bills that would alter or completely amend the visitation rights in those states.
Many state laws associated to grandparents’ rights, nevertheless, have survived undamaged. However, grandparents that seek to obtain visitation rights need to check the present status of the law in their relevant states.
Discover More Concerning Grandparents’ Visitation and Custody Rights From an Attorney
Due to this, federal and state laws are starting to acknowledge the vital role grandparents play in their grandchild’s life. On the other hand, these rights, and the process utilized to exercise them can vary state by state. Thankfully, you can get a hold of a local child custody attorney that can counsel you on the laws in your state and advocate for your interests.
Grandparents’ visitation and custody: Background. Findlaw. (2018, February 3). Retrieved July 8, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/child-custody/grandparents-visitation-and-custody-background.html
Arizona Family Law
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