Many circumstances may cause a grandparent to lose access to their grandchildren.
Divorce, separation or the death of one parent may have a ripple effect that limits contact between grandparents and their grandchildren. Or in some cases, the parents may limit grandparents’ access based on personal beliefs or arguments.
1. Do grandparents have visitation rights?
In Hawaii, grandparents have the legal right to petition the court for visitation. However, it is up to the court to decide what is in the best interest of the child.
2. Do the parents have a say?
The court strongly considers the parents’ preferences about who their children spend time with when making decisions about grandparents’ rights in cases where the parents’ fitness to parent is not in question.
3. What do you have to prove?
To petition the court for grandparents’ rights in Hawaii, you must prove two things. First, you must prove that Hawaii is the state where your grandchild resides. Second, you must prove that spending time with you is in the best interest of the child.
4. What information does the court consider when deciding visitation rights?
When deciding grandparents’ visitation rights, the court will consider many of the same things it does for parental visitation. It will look at your relationship with your grandchildren. It will look for past abuse or neglect. The court will also look for substance abuse or domestic violence in your history.
In all cases of legal visitation, the mental, emotional and physical well-being of the child will outweigh everything else. Before pursuing grandparent visitation rights, speak to a legal professional to make sure you are aware of the most recent updates to the law.