Many times a Grandparent plays a vital role in the upbringing of a child. What happens when a parent decides the child should not see the grandparent anymore, or severely restricts access to the child? What can a grandparent do?
To get court ordered visitation with your grandchild, you must first prove that at least one of the child’s parents has not had their rights terminated. This is in place to protect children who have been adopted. If the grand child was adopted and has new parents, the grandparent cannot get court ordered visitation. There are several things a grandparent must prove in order to win this kind of case
A grandparent must prove that the child’s physical health or emotional well-being would be significantly impaired if visitation with the grandparent is denied. It is a legal presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of their child. To prove that the grandchild’s physical health or emotional well-being would be significantly impaired, you need to be able to prove specific acts or omissions by the parent.
• Grandmother helped raise grandson since birth, took him to doctor visits, and administered medications and the father had limited contact with the child for several years and did not give the child the medications on at least one occasion.
• Grandchild lived with grandparents for nearly one year, child called grandparents "mom" and "dad," and had close ties with extended family.
• Grandchildren had close relationship with grandmother, grandchildren had lived with grandmother in the past when visiting their dad, grandmother attended school activities, and grandchildren said the missed their grandmother.
• Grandchildren displayed anger, one had experienced isolated bed-wetting and nightmares.
• Grandchildren had a close relationship with their grandparents and would lose a connection with their deceased father if they could not visit with grandparents.
• Grandmother testified that "something was wrong" with the children’s mother and that grandmother was not allowed to visit the children, a nurse who cared for the children’s late father testified that the mother was mentally unstable.
• Grandchildren were accustomed to spending time with grandparents and they missed them. A grandparent must prove there is a complete denial of visitation. A grandparent must prove that the parent intends to completely deny visits with the grandchild. A parent that restricts or limits visits with the grandchild is not the same as completely denying.
A grandparent must prove that their son/daughter (the grandchild’s parent):
1. Has been in jail or prison for at least three months before filing the lawsuit,
2. That parent (son/daughter of the grandparent) has been legallydeclared incompetent,
3. That parent (son/daughter of the grandparent) is deceased, or
4. That parent (son/daughter of the grandparent) does not have actualor court-ordered custody or visitation to the child.
If the grandparent’s son/daughter (a parent of the grandchild) does not wantthe grandparent to have possession, access, or visitation with the grandchild itis extremely difficult to get court ordered visitation.