Divorce can cause stress for everyone around them, extended members of a family included. As a grandparent, you want what is best for your grandchildren and may worry you will not get to see them as often once the divorce takes place. 

In that situation, learning more about your legal right to visit and be a part of your grandchild’s life can help you feel more secure about the new family arrangement. 

History  

Grandparents did not always have the right to see their grandchildren according to the law. A couple of decades ago, no statutes were in place for grandparents in a divorce between spouses, which led to confusion as cases began to appear regarding this topic. In recent years, each state now has its own unique set of laws regarding what conditions must be in place for visitations. 

What courts look at 

When asking for grandparent visitation rights, you will find that the court generally follows one guideline in particular to see if you are fit for permission. This guideline is often referred to as the “best interest” rule. This looks at your impact on your grandchildren, since their mental and physical well-being comes first in all custody cases. 

Factors for the decision 

Issues such as the strength of the grandparent’s relationship to the child, the wishes of the parents, the safety of the child while in your care, and any warning factors that may indicate abuse or neglect are all examined in court. In addition, the court takes the child’s own wishes into account, if he or she is old enough to specify what is preferred.