April 23, 2024 |

Parents are the primary guardians and providers of their children and have full legal rights to them. However, the role of grandparents in raising and caring for children cannot be understated. Despite not having full parental rights, many grandparents wish to be in their grandchildren’s lives. So, what are the legal hurdles? 

Unlike parental rights, which are essentially set in stone, grandparents’ rights in child custody cases vary by state. For instance, in a state like California, grandparents can only claim visitation rights if their grandchildren’s parents are divorced, separated, or dead. 

That said, grandparents may be able to petition for several rights, including:

1. Custody and Guardianship

Grandparents may request legal custody of their grandchildren if they consider the parents unable or unfit to raise them. They can also petition for guardianship, which gives them the authority to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and care. Admittedly, custody cases involving grandparents are usually complex, with a heavy burden of proof resting on the grandparents.

2. Visitation Rights

Many states give grandparents the right to seek visitation with their grandchildren, depending on set circumstances. Courts typically determine these cases on a case-by-case basis, and most of them require the grandparents to demonstrate a pre-existing relationship with the child or children in question. Courts can grant visitation rights to grandparents if they consider it to be in the best interest of the children in question.

3. Participating in Custody Proceedings

In some states, grandparents are allowed to intervene in child custody battles, particularly where the parents fail to agree on custody arrangements. The extent of the grandparents’ involvement is determined by the court. Generally, a history of being the primary caregiver to the child or proof of abuse or neglect by the parents can give the grandparents an edge in the proceedings.

We Are Here to Help

At Rowe & Manning, we are experts in family law and child custody litigation in Baton Rouge, LA. Our attorneys are ready to help you get a favorable judgement that prioritizes the well-being of your grandchild. Give us a call today!  

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