Grandparents Child Custody and Visitation
The legal rights of grandparents
You love your grandchildren and enjoy spending time with them, and the last thing you want to do is to have to go to court and sue their parent for custody or visitation rights, but sometimes there is no alternative.
Maybe you aren't able to spend the time with your grandchildren that you once did.
Perhaps your grandchildren's parents are unfit to raise them and you need to file for custody.
Whatever the reason is that you find yourself considering litigation to get the time with your grandkids that you need, Custody X Change can help.
Custody X Change is a computer software program that helps you organize upi custody situation.
There are many reasons that would compel a grandparent to seek visitation rights to their grandchildren:
- A divorce may have limited one parent's time with the children and the grandparents have few chances to spend time with their grandchild
- One parent may be absent (abandonment, incarceration, etc.) and the other parent refuses to let the grandparent visit the grandchild
- A step-parent may have adopted the child, severing the child's parental rights to the grandchild
- A parent may not see his or her child very often because they live far away and the other parent doesn't let the grandparent spend time with the grandchild even though they live close by
Regardless of the reason they are being prevented from seeing their grandchild, some grandparents find themselves placed in a position where they must fight for visitation time with their grandchild.
As of now, there are no states that guarantee grandparents the right to visitation with their grandchildren. Many states have ruled that laws guaranteeing grandparents visitation rights to their grandchildren are unconstitutional and would infringe upon the rights of the parents.
There are some states that permit grandparents to file for visitation rights, as long as certain conditions exist or are met, but they all have different criteria. For example:
- In Alaska, grandparents may petition for visitation with a child if they have established or have attempted to establish a relationship with the child and it is in that child's best interests (AS 25.20.065).
- In Connecticut, the court will not accept a visitation petition from a grandparent unless the grandparent has acted as a parent toward the child and it can be proven that failing to grant the visitation would result in harming the child (GSC 815j § 46b-59).
- In New Mexico, grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights if the parents are apart, one of them is dead, or if the child has lived with the grandparent for a certain period of time (NMC § 40-9-2). Then, a whole list of criteria must be met.
Many states will not grant visitation rights to grandparents if the child's parents are married and both do not wish their child to have contact with the grandparent.
As the laws are so varied from state to state, it is important that you know the grandparent visitation rights in your state. The laws (if any) pertaining to grandparent child visitation rights may be found in the states' laws, usually located in their statutes or "Code".
One provision that IS common in the states that permit grandparents to seek visitation rights is that granting visitation rights should only be done if it is in the best interests of the child.
If you are not able to spend that much time with your grandchildren because of a pending divorce, and you are on good terms with your own child, the easiest way to have access to your grandchild will be to help your child get more time with them.
If your son or daughter has more time to spend with your grandchild, you will have more opportunities to do so as well.
You can help your child get more time with their kids by using Custody X Change. Custody X Change helps parents make great parenting plans to prepare their custody case for court.
It will also help the parent prepare for mediation of meeting with the child's other parent.
Many parents find that if they use Custody X Change, it enables them to work better with the other parent.
The software makes the process more objective as they will be exchanging documents, not harsh words or angry glances. This allows them to focus on the parenting plan and the needs of their children instead of their own pain and animosities.
Your child can simply print out a copy of the proposed parenting plan that was created with Custody X Change and ask his or her former spouse to review it and note any changes he or she would like made.
Your child can then make the edits they want and give the revised parenting back to their ex for further review. They can keep working on the plan and schedule this way until they are able to agree on a parenting plan.
Once they are able to agree on the plan, you can then discuss your visitation requests with your son or daughter.
If you are a grandparent considering filing for physical custody of a grandchild, know that you are not alone.
There are over 6 million grandparents in the United States that have one or more grandchildren living in their home.
About 43% of these grandparents serve as parents to their grandchildren.
The good news is that grandparents trying to get custody of their grandchildren have far more rights than grandparents fighting for visitation with their grandchildren do.
The bad news is that if you are filing for custody of your grandchildren, it is probably because their parents are absent, unwilling, or unable to properly care for them.
The main priority of the courts in family law cases is to protect the well-being and best interests of the children, and when children need to be cared for by someone other than their own parents, grandparents are a logical solution.
Grandparents with children that are unfit parents or are unable to properly care for their own children are given little choice and many step in to fill the parental void left by the actions or inactions of the children's natural parents.
More and more grandparents are becoming involved in custody cases about their grandchildren, and these cases are often much more complex than parents fighting over custody of their kids.
There is hope. If the grandparents can prove to the family courts that the parents of the children have been neglectful and harmful in their treatment of the children they can be granted temporary (to give the parents a chance to get their acts together) or permanent custody.
Abandonment is never looked favorably upon by the courts, either. If a grandparent has been the full time baby-sitter and caregiver while the parents have been in and out of the picture, there's a good chance that the grandparents can become the legal guardians of the children.
If you are a grandparent fighting for full custody of your grandchildren, the key to winning child custody is to be prepared.
Custody X Change can help with this.
Custody X Change is custody software that lets you sit down and create a custody agreement.
You can set up the perfect custody and visitation schedule by building a calendar that includes a repeating cycle of custody and visitation that also includes holidays, vacation time, and special events.
You don't have to be computer savvy to use the program. If you can turn on your computer and use a mouse and a keyboard, you will soon master the program.
You merely click on a tab to quickly enter the schedule you want and the program applies it to a calendar for as many years as you'd like to see. The software also keeps track of time-share and overnight percentages so you know exactly how much time the child is spending at various places.
Along with the calendar, you can add provisions and stipulations about how the children should be raised. All of this prints out into professional documents in legal terminology. Or, you can export all of it to PDF or Word and make any changes you want.
So, how will this help you if you need to get custody of your grandchildren?
Besides being able to submit a proposed parenting plan that is organized and wonderful, you can also use the program to show the judge how much time you have already had the children. You can then show the schedule and the time-share percentage report to the court.
If you can show the court that you have been the main caregiver for the children, you will be much more likely that you will be granted custody.
You love your grandchildren and they need you in their lives. Download the free edition of Custody X Change and see how it can help you.