You may have heard that parents are not the only ones who can get custody in a divorce. Grandparents also have rights and in the past, courts have awarded grandparents legal access to their grandchildren in a divorce. However, nowadays it’s nearly very difficult to argue for grandparents’ rights. I will explain why on this page.
What Happened to Grandparents’ Rights?
There is some new case law on grandparents’ rights that makes it difficult for a court to grant this right. In order to get grandparents’ rights, a grandparent would have to prove a lot. They have to prove that they have a parent-like relationship with the child or children. So you are not just proving that you saw your grandchildren on the weekends and took them for holidays. You also have to prove that you have a true parent-like relationship with the children. For example, you need to show the court that you lived with the children, you were the primary caregiver, you made decisions for the good of the children, etc. You have to plead that in your documents and prove it in court.
In addition, in order to get grandparents’ rights, you have to prove that the children are being neglected by their parents. You need to prove this as neglect is defined in the statutes governing the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
It’s nearly impossible to win grandparents’ rights in court unless you have those circumstances. So those cases are very difficult to win and actually difficult to come by. Many grandparents do not fight for legal rights to their grandchildren.
However, if you feel that you truly have a parent-like relationship with your grandchildren, and you can prove this as well, you could have a case for grandparents’ rights. Remember that you will also have to argue and prove neglect in court. You should discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any additional steps. I am happy to help in this situation, just call my office for more information! I can review your situation and determine the best way to proceed.