What Are My Rights As A Grandparent?

When people think of divorce, it’s easy to assume this process only affects the involved spouses. However, that is not the case. The ripples that come from divorce can be widespread. If you’re a grandparent and your adult child is getting divorced, you may be wondering what rights you have to your grandchild. Here at Simonetti & Associates, our Southampton family lawyer has the answer you’re looking for.

Parent Rights Trump All

At times, grandparents may think they have similar rights to their grandchildren as parents do. Unfortunately for them, that is not the case. Our Southampton family lawyer wants to remind you that parental rights will always trump grandparent rights unless there are extenuating circumstances. If you become estranged from your grandchildren due to issues with their parents, if the children are not in danger, there may be little you can legally do.

When Grandparent Rights Can Increase

When custody is involved in a divorce case, judges will always decide with the child’s best interest or children in mind. In most cases, custody will be rewarded to one of the parents. However, there are times when grandparents can gain custody of their grandchildren. According to our Southampton family lawyer, below are some factors that can lead to this taking place:

  • Substance abuse.
  • Risk of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Parents are mentally incapable of caring for the child.
  • Parents are unable to shelter the child safely.

Visitation Rights

One final aspect our team would like to touch on is visitation rights. When parents retain custody over their children, grandparents can seek out visitation rights. However, to do this, you’ll need to be able to prove that you were involved as grandparents before the divorce took place, and having a relationship with them would be in their best interest. Our family lawyer is well versed in these scenarios and will help build the case that proves this. 

Schedule A Consultation With Our Southampton Family Lawyer

As a grandparent, it can be challenging to know what rights you have at times. To get an understanding of if you have any legal grounds to stand on in a potential court case, you’ll first need to consult with an expert legal team. Be sure to contact our Southampton family lawyer here at Simonetti & Associates to get this process started.  

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