As a grandparent, what rights do you have when your grandchildren’s parents have divorced? Contact a Terre Haute grandparent’s rights attorney for help getting answers.
Most grandparents want to see their grandchildren, no matter what happens with the children’s parents and their relationship. Unfortunately, many grandparents find it difficult to do so after the parents have divorced.
If you’re struggling to get the visitation or other rights you deserve as a grandparent, speak with a Terre Haute grandparent’s rights lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm. We can review your rights with you, as well as what you should fight for. We understand how important seeing your grandchildren grow up is, and we’re here to make sure you get that chance.
What Rights Are Available to Grandparents?
It is important to understand what rights a grandparent has in respect to visitation with grandchildren. In Indiana, if the child’s parents are married, a grandparent does not have specific visitation rights to the child/children of the union. The parent is responsible for acting in the best interests of their child and has discretion over visitation issues.
However there are instances which allow a grandparent to petition to court for visitation rights. In the state of Indiana, a grandparent can ask the court for visitation rights with their grandchild if:
- The grandchild’s parent is dead;
- The grandchild’s parents are divorced ; or
- The child was born outside of marriage (paternity must be established first)
The court is not obligated to rule in favor of the grandparent and will make its decision based on what it determines is in the best interest of the child. Some of the things that a court will consider is what degree of involvement in the child’s life the grandparent had before the divorce or death of the parent occurred. It is the responsibility of the grandparent to show that maintaining a relationship with the child will contribute to the overall well-being of the child.
Indiana recognizes the importance of children making connections with their grandparents, and visitation time should be included in the child’s parenting time where possible.
This means that, as a grandparent, you could receive many of the same rights parents receive, such as the following:
- Regular contact with the child
- Regular visiting time in person
- Information about activities the child is involved in
- Contact in case of emergencies
- Notice that the child is moving to a new residence
Protecting the Rights of Grandparents in Terre Haute
While these rights are possible to obtain, they’re not automatically guaranteed. These rights must be won through filing a petition with the courts.
Typically, you’ll need to prove a few things before you get visitation rights. First, the divorce must have happened in Indiana or the child’s case must be handled in the state. Grandparents can file if the parents weren’t married at the time the child was born. However, if paternity has not been established, you may be unable to file. Talk to a lawyer about how this will affect your case.
Once you’ve filed your petition and received a hearing, you’ll need to prove a few things:
- You’ve tried contacting the child.
- There are no reasons a fit parent should deny you visitation rights.
- It’s best for the child to have a relationship with you.
TERRE HAUTE FAMILY VISITATION ATTORNEY
Whether you are the grandparent or the parent in a visitation dispute, it is important to first consider how this dispute will impact the family relationships and the child’s well-being. Understanding a person’s motivations for wanting to be a part of the child’s life can go a long way in reaching an agreement for visitation. If it is not possible to come to an agreement, you should speak with a prominent Terre Haute grandparents’ rights attorney at aTerre Haute family law firm who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
Grandparent visitation is not the same thing as parenting time in a Terre Haute family visitation case. Parenting time guidelines have been established by the state of Indiana to ensure that a child’s psychological and physical needs are met by both parents when possible. The court views grandparent visitation differently. If you are a grandparent who wishes to petition the court for visitation rights for your grandchild or if you are a parent who disputes the grandparent’s request for visitation, you should speak to a Terre Haute Family Law Firm or an experienced Terre Haute family visitation attorney to ensure your rights are protected.