If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights with your grandchild, it is important to know that there is a very specific set of circumstances that must be met to qualify for grandparents’ visitation rights. Even if such factors are met in your case, the court will also consider a variety of other aspects in its determination of whether denying visitation with you will negatively affect the child. Similar to child custody cases, you as a grandparent must prove that visitation with your grandchild is in that child’s “best interests.” Below are a few ways that you can show the value of that relationship.
Some grandparent visitation cases are quite straightforward, with one or both of the biological parents clearly not able to adequately care for their children after a divorce. However, many grandparent visitation cases are much more subtle and difficult to argue, and they can be even more difficult to judge. Ultimately, there are a few general aspects that can strengthen your case as a grandparent pursuing visitation rights, such as:
Evidence of a Positive Relationship—Probably the most important—and most involved—way to prove that grandparent visitation rights are in the grandchild’s best interests is to document everything. Keep a scrapbook of photos and souvenirs from all the things you and your grandchild have done together over the years. Evidence of open, affectionate, and supportive communication, such as texts, emails, or letters, will bolster your arguments. This will show that you are a good role model for your grandchild.
The Child’s Needs—The child’s physical and psychological needs must always be met. If you are incapable of providing care for the child, then that could count against you when determining visitation rights. In addition, if the child is of mature age, he or she could provide input about your relationship with him or her, giving the court further insight into how to protect his or her best interests.
No Interference or Disruption with the Parental Bond—Grandparent visitation should not create conflict within the child’s immediate family. If you and the child's parent do not get along, and the child has settled into a life without regular contact with you, the court may decide not to allow grandparent visitation in order to avoid causing unnecessary strife.
The Child’s Safety—You need to be able to provide a safe environment for the child. This means that there should not be any negative influences in your home or around the children during visitation. Examples include excessive drinking, smoking, and questionable visitors.
Continuation of a Strong Bond—If you already play a pivotal role in your grandchild’s life, then it is much easier to prove that visitation rights will be in that child’s best interests. For instance, you may be able to show that you have taken sole care of the child during extended periods of time or on a regular basis.
While it might seem daunting at first, there are ways for you to be awarded grandparents’ visitation rights. However, these cases can take time, and you may need to provide considerable proof that visitation will be in the child's best interests. With the help of an experienced Lombard, IL child custody lawyer, you can address these concerns and ensure that you will remain an important part of your grandchild's life. The Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices will provide you with the legal help you need to ensure as much quality time as possible with your grandchildren. Call us today at 630-932-9100 to schedule your free consultation.
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