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Things to know about grandparent visitation rights

When it comes to grandparent visitation rights, there are things you need to know. For example, these types of rights did not even exist 40 years ago. However, things have changed quite a bit in today's age.

Every state has created its own statutes that govern grandparent visitation rights. This makes it much easier for grandparents and parents to better understand how this situation should be treated.

Are grandparents always granted visitation rights? While each state has statutory guidelines in place, the answer is no. This will depend on many factors, just the same as when parents are dealing with matters of visitation.

There are two basic types: restrictive visitation and permissive visitation

With restrictive visitation laws, grandparents can only seek visitation if one or both parents are deceased or if the parents have divorced.

Conversely, permissive visitation allows a grandparent to request visitation even if both parents are still married and alive.

As always, the court will take into consideration the best interest of the child. For example, if a grandparent has a long history of abuse, this person is not likely to be granted any form of visitation.

If you are a grandparent, if you want to gain visitation rights, you may not have to seek the approval of the court. Instead, you can speak with the parents, if appropriate, or go through mediation. If this does not work, there may not be any other option. At that point, heading to court is likely the best way to receive visitation rights and work out a schedule that suits all parties involved.

Source: FindLaw, "Grandparent Visitation Rights," accessed April 12, 2016

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