Grand children share a very special bong with their grandparents and their relationships are always somewhat extraordinary. More often than not, grandparents enjoy being able to spend time with their grand kids without extra burden of having to raise the kids and having it as a full time responsibility. I often wonder what makes this relationship one of the most beautiful relationships….it’s amazing to see that grand children see in their grandparents teachers, role models, caretakers, tales from past….but above all that, I feel that that the security and stability that a grandparent extends to his/her grand child is what seals this wonderful bond.
Every so often we have seen that changes within families have led to changes in the relationships that grandparent’s share with their much adored grand children. It could be anything, it could be the child becoming dependent on a drug or alcohol, being incarcerated, it could be losing your child in an accident, or it could even be your children getting divorced and then remarrying and bringing home a step-parent who then adopts or chooses to not adopt your grand kid.
At times such as this, when matters are not able to be solved in a civil manner within the four walls of your house, it is often seen that the law intervenes and matters end up going to court.
People often think and feel- does it make any sense for the law to intervene? Should it even be allowed for the law to decide who a child must choose?
Well, let’s get a deeper understanding of how and what really happens before we insinuate. Whenever the law or a court takes a decision on a grandparent’s rights, the law/court always try to find out a balance between certain values. They seek to do what’s best for a child and in his/her best interest. Also, they try and allow parents to take care of the child as best as they possibly can.
Laws differ from one state to another. The Wisconsin statuses have provided for the legal visitation rights meant for grandparents under the below mentioned circumstances:
- When a step-parent adopts
- In case of a divorce
- In case the grandchild’s parent passes away
- In case parenthood has been recognized as the grandkid was born out of the marriage
The interest or the wishes of a grandparent aren’t a part of the essential factors that are considered by the law when making decisions on who should take care of a child.
There are certain common situations in which grandparent’s find themselves and struggle for they have no information. We have tried to target a few, and we hope that we have been able to help you.
- What if my child dies and the parent who survives does not allow me to visit my grandchild?
In such a case, you should seek assistance from your attorney and petition the court where the grandchild lives so that the court can allow you rights to a reasonable visitation and you can see your grandchild.
The visitation rights will be given to you only when the court determines that it’s in the child’s best interest and for the child’s welfare. For instance the law/court may consider the following*:
Enthusiasm of grandparent/s to support a close rapport b/w the kid and the parent/s;
The quality and length of the preceding relationship shared b/w the kid and the grandparent/s;
The inclination of the kid in case the kid is agreed upon as being of adequate maturity to state a preference;
The child’s physical & mental health;
The grandparent/s physical & mental health.
(* in the case of Florida Statuses)
- What if my grandchild’s parents are getting divorced? Will I still have rights for visiting my grandchildren?
In such a case, you should seek assistance from your attorney and petition the court where the grandchild lives so that the court can allow you rights to a reasonable visitation and you can see your grandchild. You need to appeal in court regarding your visitation rights once your daughter or son and their spouse have begun the proceedings for their divorce. Your current relationship with them does not have to matter at all in this case.
The court will consider what amount of personal time you’ve shared with the grandchild and the parent/s before you appealed in court. In case the court permits you with visitation rights, the court WILL set certain conditions or maybe restrictions on the visits.
- What if my child passes away and I wish to gain custody of my grandchild as I think I would be able to bring him/her up better?
In certain state courts, it is the parents that are viewed as natural guardians for their child. Therefore, it is the parent who has survived who will have the primary legal right to custody.
Such a right will be disregarded only through a legal proceeding if it can be proved that:
The capability of the parent to offer care is extremely inadequate and the child’s health, welfare, and safety are being compromised on,
Other extraordinary circumstance crops up.
The custody will then be granted by law to a social service department who will place the child temporarily with another family (could be the grandparents). Even in this case, it is only a child’s physical placement and NOT the child’s custody that lies with the grandparent.
- What if my grandchild is being abused and neglected by his/her parents? What are the actions that I am entitled to take?
States have telephone help lines for child protection. Any social worker who answers such a line over weekdays will be able to assist you understand the true meaning of neglect and abuse (as the law sees it). These social workers will also assist you in how a report for abuse or neglect are to be made, what the steps are that the social and service departments will be taking once you’ve reported such a report.
Possible Care Alternatives & Eligibility for a Support Program
|Alternatives For Care||Potential Payment||By A Court Order||Child Entitled For The Support Program*||Who Generally Has Lawful Custody|
|Physical Placement||No||No||Yes||A Child Welfare Organization*|
|Legal Custody||No||Yes||Yes||A Child Welfare Organization *|
|Kinship Care||Yes||Yes||Yes||A Child Welfare Organization *|
|Foster Care||Yes||Yes||Yes||A Child Welfare Organization *|
|Guardianship||No||Yes||The Grandparent(S) Income Isn’t Considered||Grandparent (s)|
|Adoption||No||Yes||The Grandparent(S) Income Isn’t Considered||Grandparent (s|
*In majority counties, you’ll require to make contact with the social service departments.