Considering Grandparents’ Rights in a Divorce

One of the considerations in divorces that is often overlooked is the rights of grandparents. Questions about these rights have become more pronounced as divorce rates continue to rise and as grandparents play an increased role in the raising and nurturing of children. Here are a few principles to help guide your understanding of this issue.

1. The issue is complicated and often does not have specific answers

Grandparent considerations vary from state to state. In addition, various state legislatures have deemed federal and even state regulations to be illegal within their state. This means that there are no set or universal answers. Often, the questions must be handled by a judge on a case-by-case basis.

2. Different types of rights

The rights that grandparents seek are similar to those that a spouse tries to maintain: visitation and custody. While it might seem that visitation is an easier right to acquire, this is not necessarily the case. There is no federal guideline or constitutional provision for grandparents, and unless an individual state allows for visitation rights, there may be no legal means to visit grandchildren after a divorce. Custody rights are more commonly considered because a grandparent may have a significant or even primary role in raising children. In these cases, a judge may be more likely to award partial custody rights to grandparents.

While no sweeping laws have been passed that regulate grandparents’ rights in a divorce, the conversation is becoming more common. If you have questions about this, you should visit this website to consult a family lawyer in San Diego


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