Grandparent Rights

[deleted account] ( 54 moms have responded )

Do you think grandparents should have legal rights to see their grandchildren? I know it varies state to state, however I was curious to hear what people think.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I should probably state my thoughts on this.

I personally do not think grandparents should have legal visitation rights. I think it should be entirely up to the parents who their child spends time with. I know that sadly, in some cases, children are not allowed to see their grandparents for the wrong reasons. Regardless, I still believe that no one should be granted legal rights to my child (other than my husband and I), as long as I am living. The only possible reason I could see for grandparents to be granted such rights is if both parents are deemed unfit to care their children, but not simply because the grandparents want to see their grandchildren more often.

Jaime - posted on 08/14/2010

4,427

24

196

For me this is a 'depends on the situation' issue. If the grandparents are not readily involved with the children as a result of distance or even abuse as some people have mentioned, then I don't feel they should be automatically awarded visitations. On the flip side, if the grandparents play an active roll and serve even as a secondary home to the child and then suddenly there is a falling out between grandparents and parents and the kids are denied visits....not cool.

It really should go by situation and I do think it's necessary to have legal precedent for the cases where grandparents are denied rights as a means for the parents to gain leverage.

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

26,282

36

3891

In Australia, grandparents do have rights, and I agree with that. I am not totally sure what those rights are because I've never needed that particular law, but I know that they do.

I do agree that it is up to the parents to provide grandparents with their time, but what about if one or the other parent was jailed, or died? I'll give you an example. If something were to happen to me, my ex would get custody of my son (unless someone else fought and won, but that would be a difficult battle). Now, believe me, he would not volunteer in any way to allow my son to see my parents (or my current husband and our daughter - his sister). I absolutely 100% advocate the rights of grandparents, step-parents and half-siblings (just to bring another thing into it, LOL).

[deleted account]

Sherri, thank you for posting that. I am also from NH, and am happy to hear that we have a reasonable law regarding grandparent rights.

I have heard about this a lot lately - grandparents threatening their children with visitation rights. It is unfortunate that it sometimes gets to this point, and it is unfortunate that *some* parents are preventing grandparents from seeing their grandchildren for the wrong reasons. However, in the majority of instances I hear of this, the grandparent(s) are denied access to the children for a good reason. In most of the recent situations, the grandparents simply want to visit more often than the parents want them to, or they want to take the child alone overnight, but the parents say 'No'. Maybe the grandparents are completely fine and trustworthy...but the parents just like their privacy and family time (without extended family present), or maybe the parents are overprotective, or maybe they both work and enjoy weekend time with their child. They allow the grandparent to see the grandchild...just not nearly as often as the grandparents would like. In the cases I have heard, the grandparents feel the parents are being selfish. Are they though? I don't think so, and I do not think a court should grant the grandparents in even situations like this visitation rights...even if the parents are truly being selfish.

NH's law makes sense to me. That if one parent is out of the picture for whatever reason, *only then* can the grandparents seek visitation rights (but it still is not automatic, and they need to make a case for it). I think it is too hard to really look at it case by case outside of this. If both parents are present, and both parents choose to not allow a grandparent to spend time with their child, I believe in the majority of cases that the parents are looking out for their child's best interests. Not all grandparents are the warm and fuzzy type. Even if the grandparents are that type....if the parents only want grandparent visits to take place once a month, then so be it. It should be entirely the parents' decision.

Sarah - posted on 06/09/2010

5,465

31

331

I don't think grandparents should automatic rights to see their grand kids. If the parents aren't letting them see them, then there's probably a good reason for it!
I think there's enough custody issues between just Mum's and Dad's without adding grandparents to the mix! :)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

54 Comments

View replies by

Shannon - posted on 03/30/2011

2

0

0

I have to look at my own story when it comes to this. I was deployed to Iraq with the Army. I was single when I left and both girls did not see their father, his choice, not ours. I was seeing a nice man and we decided that when I returned we were going to get married and blend our families. While I was deployed, my mother started a smear campaign not only against the man I was going to marry but also me. She tried convincing my youngest daughter that I beat her, tried to convince family friends that I did not care for my children or provide for them. She then did the unthinkable, she filed for custody of my children while I was overseas.

When I got home I tried to remove my children from her home and she called the police on me. Since I did not give up my parental rights when I was deployed, both children were able to reside with me while I was battling my mother in court. She lied to the judge, lied to professionals that were brought into the case and basically took money from me and my family for her ludacris case.

I have been back for two years this September and thus far I have won against my mother and she was ordered to pay court and lawyer fees for her unfounded case. Not only has she refused to pay, she has kept all of my and my childrens possessions, citing that I'll try to sell them for money, she has refused to act as a grandmother and has even gone to the point of trying to change the laws in our stated to suit her purposes.

I have let her come into my home, see that the girls are happy and even celebrate birthdays with my new family. I have never kept the children away from her, I have never said that I wanted to keep the children away from her. Both girls, in fact, 13 and 15 respectfully, have told the court professionals that they love their grandparents but they don't want to live with them but they would be willing to visit from time to time.

At this point, my children are at their wits end. They don't want to spend time with their grandparents and I know if they were ordered by a court of law to spend time with them, we would all be in contempt.

My mother continues to badger my children about spending weekends with them. She still refuses to return any of our property and is telling me that she'll go to jail before she pays the money the court ordered her to pay.

It is my belief that only in extreme cases should grandparents be granted legal rights to see their grandchildren. It wouldn't even matter if the children are members of a single parent family. Pulling someone into court and slandering them to family friends is not the way to "be there for the children."

Shannon - posted on 03/30/2011

2

0

0

I have to look at my own story when it comes to this. I was deployed to Iraq with the Army. I was single when I left and both girls did not see their father, his choice, not ours. I was seeing a nice man and we decided that when I returned we were going to get married and blend our families. While I was deployed, my mother started a smear campaign not only against the man I was going to marry but also me. She tried convincing my youngest daughter that I beat her, tried to convince family friends that I did not care for my children or provide for them. She then did the unthinkable, she filed for custody of my children while I was overseas.

When I got home I tried to remove my children from her home and she called the police on me. Since I did not give up my parental rights when I was deployed, both children were able to reside with me while I was battling my mother in court. She lied to the judge, lied to professionals that were brought into the case and basically took money from me and my family for her ludacris case.

I have been back for two years this September and thus far I have won against my mother and she was ordered to pay court and lawyer fees for her unfounded case. Not only has she refused to pay, she has kept all of my and my childrens possessions, citing that I'll try to sell them for money, she has refused to act as a grandmother and has even gone to the point of trying to change the laws in our stated to suit her purposes.

I have let her come into my home, see that the girls are happy and even celebrate birthdays with my new family. I have never kept the children away from her, I have never said that I wanted to keep the children away from her. Both girls, in fact, 13 and 15 respectfully, have told the court professionals that they love their grandparents but they don't want to live with them but they would be willing to visit from time to time.

At this point, my children are at their wits end. They don't want to spend time with their grandparents and I know if they were ordered by a court of law to spend time with them, we would all be in contempt.

My mother continues to badger my children about spending weekends with them. She still refuses to return any of our property and is telling me that she'll go to jail before she pays the money the court ordered her to pay.

It is my belief that only in extreme cases should grandparents be granted legal rights to see their grandchildren. It wouldn't even matter if the children are members of a single parent family. Pulling someone into court and slandering them to family friends is not the way to "be there for the children."

Kelly - posted on 08/28/2010

3

25

0

Well, just an update on my current situation, mediation is going ahead in the next few weeks and i have just been sent a "pack" from a dispute resolution centre including a whole bunch of paperwork relating to parent seperation, which isn't even the case here, as my partner and my relationship has never been so stable, sticking together through all of this. And just a reply for Val, everyone's situation is different, and as i DO totally understand rights for active grandparents should be taken into consideration, the demands of grandparents who don't want anything to do with me (their daughter) but want to bring the children up "their way" is wrong. Especially when both parents are stable and secure and fit enough to make the decision on who would and would not have a healthy impact on the childrens lives. But battle continues even though my parents have barely even met my children and have only upset them and myself during any visits in the past.

Ashley - posted on 08/27/2010

863

2

155

No i do not believe that they should have rights to my children why as a parent are are decisions on how best to raise and keep are children safe being thwarted by the legal system obviously if are children are not seeing are parents there is a reason unless a parent is missing and that persons parents would like access to the children but anybody can go for custody of a child so why make a special law for grandparents at lest here in BC Canada. As far as im concerned they had there opportunity now its are's if they dident do a good enough job so we don't want them in are child life to bad.

Kat - posted on 08/26/2010

309

37

24

according to Indiana law (i actually called a lawyer about this this morning) there's no such thing. the only time is (for example) if my husband died and i kept my son from his mother (the reason for my call to the lawyer) she could sue for grandparents rights. same thing if i were to divorce my husband and got custody.

in IN, only if a spouse dies or there's a divorce can a grandparent do the grandparents rights thing. but if the grandparent is on drugs (ie, my mother-in-law) or you feel our child is in danger by being around the grandparent, YOU are the one who will win the case, unless youre abusing the child and stuff.

but i dont think grandparents should have legal rights.

[deleted account]

Val, I have sympathy for your situation - but certainly your son - as the father must have visitation rights. Are these rights being illegally ignored (in which case so would grandparent rights), or is he not inviting you over when he has the children? This would be another problem alltogether of course...

Val - posted on 08/25/2010

21

35

0

yes they should i dont see 3 of my grandchildren because my son and 2 of his partners split up so they didnt just take it out on my son they took it out on me and my husband too.i just hope when the kids grow up these 2 women tell the kids why they didnt see us,but i bet they dont.

[deleted account]

I don't believe that anybody really has any right to another person. The guardian has the responsibility of raising the child - but that does not guarantee that child will want to see them when they are an adult even. Sadly there are no certain bets on relationships in this world. I know that I'm trying to get my 'baby fix' from my own babies now - because nobody can guarantee grandchildren or other. Hmm... not sure if I'm getting my point across right...?

Brittney - posted on 08/16/2010

195

15

24

Absolutely not! I shouldn't have to let anyone see my daughter except for her dad. So she should have a set visitation with 6 different people? Yeah, that's whats best for her...

Jane - posted on 08/15/2010

1,041

5

69

Nope...I don't think grandparents should have LEGAL rights to see their grandchildren.

Kelly - posted on 08/14/2010

3

25

0

The reality that grandparents have rights to visitation as it is seen by the court that time with their grandparents is apparently vital to a childs development. That said, i am actually currently in a court dispute regarding the visitation of my daughter 2 years and son 10 months. Neither of them know my parents and have only ever seen them a handful of times. My mother was never happy with the amount of time i allowed for her to spend time with kids and only argued and fought with me in front of them which has essentially led to her taking us to court for visitation and it looks as though she will win, ignoring the effect that would have on my child. I have never stopped my parents from seeing my children, and have never "cut them off", but just by setting boundaries, us, the parents get trumped anyway. And if a woman who threatens to commit suicide and a father with a mean temper can be given visitation...anyone can, and they are just as much a stranger to my kids as joe blogs down the street. For a court to be deemed considerate of a childs well-being, as they are said to be, those decisions should be made by a fit stable minded parent but in reality the parents rights are not considered. And we have to remember that these grandparent laws were put in place by a group of grandparents banding together and having a law passed...maybe something for all parents with problematic parents to consider, maybe get the law dismissed as from a personal point of view it is an absolute nightmare when a parents right to protect their child from harm is overlooked by the decision of a total stranger.

[deleted account]

I dont think grandparents should have any rights at all. Why should they just because they gave birth to me or my husband. I stopped my husbands father from seeing our kids after he attempted to smack my son around the head, for weeks before he was always shouting at him and telling him off for stupid little things. He was only six and he was scared of his own grandfather. Ive also seen the other side of it my stepdaughter has two children that my husband and i are not allowed to see. I respect her right to withold visits from us as a parent even though we would love to see those kids it would be more trouble than it was worth and would probably result in the kids suffering for it in the long run.

Amy - posted on 06/12/2010

141

11

4

I don't think it's necessarily beneficial for grandparent to have automatic access to a child, but if a good case can be made for visitation then it shouldn't be unreasonably denied by a judge.

It's a tricky situation for me - throughout my daughter's life her well-meaning paternal grandmother has made some stupid, dangerous decisions when she's in her care - things that don't seem like much on their own, but that when combined make you question a person's judgment or soundness of mind. It was enough for me to stop whole weekend visits while she's still young enough to be vulnerable, but as far as I know she still sees her grandparents on weekends her father has her (they live about an hour and a half away, so approximately once a month) and I'm pleased that she does.

I know my parents and the rest of my family would be devastated if I died & access was denied to them entirely, and my daughter would be similarly devastated, although as much as my ex & I disagree sometimes, I doubt he'd keep her from them entirely.

So, automatic rights no - but I would hope that a family can come to a mutual agreement that works, and that a grandparent could be granted visitation rights by a court if the circumstances warranted it and the family couldn't agree on their own.

Jessie - posted on 06/12/2010

333

36

7

I think it's the parent's choice and that Grandparent's only should have legal abilities when the parent's die or are unfit. They are not the parents and the parent's, even if they are being selfish, should not be forced to send their kids to see their grandparents. That is like a parent losing a right to choose if, who, or when, they would like their kids around. My child doesn't see her grandparents on my hubby's side enough b/c they don't call and I don't choose to seek them out b/c I don't have a lot of people watch my child. My parents do when I go to class, but if I'm not in class, or studying I stay with my child. Giving grandparents rights just b/c they are grandparents could be a bad idea in many ways. If they need to take guardianship of the kids there a legal ways. I'm not saying that kids shouldn't see their grandparents or that children should be kept from them, just that I feel that giving them rights that could force a parent to let them see them isn't right.

Brittany - posted on 06/12/2010

330

25

28

I am kind of torn...when my parents divorced (I was less than a year old) my grandparents (my mothers parents) got visitation rights (6 weekends a year). The only reason they did it was b/c there was a lot of lies and it was a messy divorce, and my dad got custody of me with my mom only seeing me 1 night a week and every other weekend. The weekends I stayed with my grandparents were so I could spend more time with my mom.

But then I look at my own kids...and I would never want my in laws to get a full weekend with my sons. They do get to see them quite often...and an occasional overnight...but my brother in law is a drug addict and they continue to let him come back to their house after they kick him out. When he is living there, or even just visiting, my boys will not go over there without my husband and me.

So I think it really needs to be looked at on a case to case basis.

Jennifer - posted on 06/11/2010

167

1

5

Heres my case. My inlaws don't see my children as offten as they could, its always up to us to take the 1.5 hour drive to them. And it has to be on thier scedual(sp), there are some other things as well. For the safty of our girls pappi is not alowed to be alone with them (sil accused him of molestation to me when she as 16 has since taken it back and leave her children, boys and girl, with him alone all the time.) While we look at everything and say to ourselves no it PROBABLY did not happen BUT just in case we will not let him have a chance. He is a really great Poppi and we both feel bad as it hurts his feelings that we will not allow them to be there with just him. As for my MIL she could care less about our girls, she huffs and puffs, has at one point told us not to come down for a prearranged visit bc she had her other grandchildren there. If something were to happen and my hubby died I really don't think they would even try to see them. the reasion I feel this way is bc of the way they are with thier other dil, if she is alone for a day they check up on her, but when my hubby is gone for a week or more they don't call once, heck they don't call when he's home. We only take them down about once a month on average bc on top of everything else my mil degrades my hubby and I in front of the girls. Now the woman has a daughter with 4 kids (3 fathers and a 4th father for a child that passed) and sponges off them, they help her pay everything plus she is on state aid. (fine if you need it not fine if you abuse it) but we don't do anough (pay our own bills, feed our own children and cloth them but don't have play money) my hubby is "not capable of achieving anything" this man who is working on his BS in computer security and has been working in the field for 6 years. So If something happened to him and they wanted visitation I would have to say only if you come to me, and if you cross any of these set lines your gone. After three times crossing these line no more. And I would not like it if a court over ruled me... Family is important and children should know as many of them as possable but we as parents need to be able to make the best desions for them. If its petty then really all partys need to grow up.

Angeline - posted on 06/11/2010

2

15

0

no .. i think if you dont want your child to see someone regardless of if they are in your family or not its ur descion

Brandy - posted on 06/10/2010

1,353

0

157

I think that Grandparents should have a certain amount of rights to see their grandchildren. I do not think that it is fair to the child or the grandparents if the grandparents do not get to see their grandchildren because of issues between the parents and grandparents. I don't think that they should have automatic rights to take the child out of the home for visits, but to just have those visits, even if the parent insists that they are supervised for whatever reason, they should still be able to see their grandchildren, unless of course they have some history of child molestation or are a danger for some other reason. Of course, there should be limitations to this. For example, the courts cannot expect to make time every 3 days for the grandparents to come and visit all the time but I don't see why it shouldn't be able to happen 3 or 4 times a month. We do have The Grandparents Act here in Canada. I do not know the details of it because I have never had to look it up for any reason. I have heard of alot of mothers who have issues with their in-laws and do not let their children see them and even use visits with their children as leverage to get their way in arguments (If you do that, you won't be seeing your grandchildren for a couple months) and I do not think that is fair. I'm not a big fan of my fiance's mother (neither is he) or the things she has done in her life but she is not a danger to us and therefore she has the right to see her grandchildren and is welcome to come and visit.

Amber - posted on 06/10/2010

1,909

13

144

I like NH law. And I understand the need for it. I also really like that if the parents are together that the grandparents cannot petition at all. It seems like a responsible law. Under those constraints, I would change my previous statement and say that I would be ok with it.

[deleted account]

To clarify Nicole, I mean should they have a legal right to see your child, granted by a Court. Example, should you be obligated to allow the grandparents to see your child, say once a week. So, not so much should you because it might be the 'right thing to do' morally, but should parents HAVE to allow their children to see their grandparents. (In many states grandparents can easily be granted such rights.)

[deleted account]

If you mean should a grandparent have a right to see their grand child?

I feel grandparents should be allowed to be active participants in a child's life as long as the following applies:
-They are not abusive
-They respect your parenting style
-are not infringing on your personal space (so if they are local a visit once a week --more if you are comfortable, people know their needs best)

If you mean legal rights to care and look after their grand child,
only if both parents are deemed unfit to care for the child themselves.

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010

9,593

15

387

Child Visitation Laws

All 50 states currently have some type of "grandparent visitation" statute through which grandparents, and sometimes others (foster parents and stepparents, for example), can ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain their relationships with loved children. But state laws vary greatly when it comes to the crucial details, such as who can visit and under what circumstances.

Approximately 20 states have "restrictive" visitation statutes, meaning that generally only grandparents can get a court order for visitation -- and only if the child's parents are divorcing or if one or both parents have died. However, most states have more permissive visitation laws that allow courts to consider a visitation request even without the death of a parent or the dissolution of the family, so long as visitation would serve the best interests of the child. And, in a restrictive state, even divorced parents who agree about preventing grandparent visitation have the right to keep the grandparents away.

Some states allow caretaking adults besides grandparents to make such a petition, usually requiring that the caretaker must have lived in the home with the child for a certain period of time in order to be able to file a request for visitation.

Both restrictive and permissive visitation statutes have been challenged in court by parents who argue that the laws are an infringement on parents' rights to raise their children as they see fit. Courts have made contradictory rulings.

Cindy - posted on 06/10/2010

30

3

1

I feel it should be up to the parents to say who should be able to see their child and who shouldn't. I feel the goverment has their hands in places they don't belong. I know in my situation I would not want my mom to have legal grounds to see my children unsupervised. My mom takes how I feel and totaly disrespects it and underminds what I want for my children every chance she gets. For example my children are premees and don't want them smoked in front of, yet she feels as an adult she has the right to smoke where she wants and when she wants and if the goverment were to say yes she has the right to see them by herself, my children would probably come home smokng about a pack a day knowing my mom. I know every situation is different, but for me, NO!! I would not want my mom to be able to see my kids by herself. I don't even let her babysit unless I know their already in bed for the night.

Heather - posted on 06/10/2010

525

20

18

Sherri, I wish my friend lived in NH...I am sure she would be granted visitation under their law...that is a fair statute...I dont think that grandparents should have the same rights as parents have, I just think they should have something to protect them from situations that I mentioned above.

April - posted on 06/10/2010

3,420

16

263

no, grandparents should not have legal rights unless the parents pass away, provided they are not criminals or abusive.

the reason? i know my mom is always picking on everything i do for my son. my way is always the wrong way and her way is always right.

i could see other grandparents being like my mom, only deciding to take it one step further and go for custody, etc...

Heather - posted on 06/10/2010

525

20

18

Well, thats true, LaCi (depending on where you live, in some places grandparents do have rights,legally) I guess I should say that, I would want to see my grandchild/grandchildren an would most certainly do whatever I could to see them. I dont think I would just be able to accept not being able to see them...thats just me though. I have a friend who's adult son had a baby with his girlfriend, they broke up when the child was 6...he already had a very strong bond to my friend...she was not only his grandma but also his caregiver 5 days a week since he was a baby...they broke up and she refuses to let her see her grandson...its been 3 years. These are the cases that break my heart and make me think that grandparents should have some rights.

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010

9,593

15

387

New Hampshire grandparents have certain rights to visit with their grandchildren, sometimes even over the objection of the parents. Although parents have constitutional rights and responsibilities regarding how they raise their own children, including where they live, what school they go to, and who they allow to see their children, grandparents are not without their own set of rights pursuant to RSA 461-A:13.

When a conflict arises where a parent or parents of a child decide that their parents are no longer allowed to see their grandchildren, grandparents may petition for a court order provided they meet the requirements of the statute. In order to petition for these rights, there must be an absence of a nuclear family, whether by divorce, death, termination of parental rights or other reason. In other words, if a mother and father who are together decide that the grandparent may not see their grandchild, the grandparent will not have standing to seek the visitation under the statute.

If an absence of the nuclear family exists, the Court will examine the factors enumerated in the statute to determine whether the visitation should be granted. The factors include:

* whether visitation with the grandparent would be in the best interest of the child,
* whether it would interfere with any parent-child relationship, or with that parent’s authority over the child,
* the nature of the relationship between the grandparent and the child, including the frequency of contact between them, whether they have resided together in the past, and whether there would be an emotional blow to the child by visitation or a lack thereof, and
* the impact of the relationship between the parents and grandparents on the child, including whether any friction resulting from visitation would have a negative impact on the child.

In addition to examining the above factors, the court will often also appoint a Guardian Ad Litem and listen to her recommendations regarding the proposed grandparent visitation carefully. If the child is emotionally mature, the court may consider the child’s opinion about the matter as well.

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010

9,593

15

387

New Hampshire grandparents have certain rights to visit with their grandchildren, sometimes even over the objection of the parents. Although parents have constitutional rights and responsibilities regarding how they raise their own children, including where they live, what school they go to, and who they allow to see their children, grandparents are not without their own set of rights pursuant to RSA 461-A:13.

When a conflict arises where a parent or parents of a child decide that their parents are no longer allowed to see their grandchildren, grandparents may petition for a court order provided they meet the requirements of the statute. In order to petition for these rights, there must be an absence of a nuclear family, whether by divorce, death, termination of parental rights or other reason. In other words, if a mother and father who are together decide that the grandparent may not see their grandchild, the grandparent will not have standing to seek the visitation under the statute.

If an absence of the nuclear family exists, the Court will examine the factors enumerated in the statute to determine whether the visitation should be granted. The factors include:

* whether visitation with the grandparent would be in the best interest of the child,
* whether it would interfere with any parent-child relationship, or with that parent’s authority over the child,
* the nature of the relationship between the grandparent and the child, including the frequency of contact between them, whether they have resided together in the past, and whether there would be an emotional blow to the child by visitation or a lack thereof, and
* the impact of the relationship between the parents and grandparents on the child, including whether any friction resulting from visitation would have a negative impact on the child.

In addition to examining the above factors, the court will often also appoint a Guardian Ad Litem and listen to her recommendations regarding the proposed grandparent visitation carefully. If the child is emotionally mature, the court may consider the child’s opinion about the matter as well.

LaCi - posted on 06/10/2010

3,361

3

171

First and foremost when I get there, as a grandparent I accept the fact that I am not the parent, it's not my kid and I have no rights OR responsibilities when it comes to that child. The only people who have any legal rights and responsibilities are the parents. Plain and simple.

Heather - posted on 06/10/2010

525

20

18

Also, I am sure that most of us are not grandparents yet...but how would you feel if you were not able to see your own grandchild...I think you would be fighting for some rights...

Heather - posted on 06/10/2010

525

20

18

I do think that the Grandparents should have legal rights unless there is a history of abuse or neglect from the grandparents...I know plenty of women who refuse to allow the parents of their ex's see the children ...just out of spite...there should laws in place to protect the grandparent/child relationship...which in a lot of cases is a very important part of a child's life...I don't always like my MIL and have felt like keeping my son from her because I know that would hurt her...but I would never do that because my son loves her as much as she loves him.

Meghan - posted on 06/10/2010

3,169

33

202

I am torn on this as well...
I don't believe that Grandparents should have automatic legal rights but with that being said...If anything where to happen to me, I would be horrifyed if my mom didn't have access to my son...and I think it would really damage my son aswell. Since day 1 (well even before that) my mom has been really supportive and kinda stepped into a parental role to my son during the times that his father hasn't stepped up. SO I guess legal rights no, but it would be great if all parties could honor a moral right to grandparents.

Suzette - posted on 06/09/2010

1,086

29

0

I don't think it should be automatic at all. I'm a bit torn on this, I used to believe that grandparents should have rights because there are far too many out there that get their grandchildren with held from them due to ugly custody cases or parents fighting and punishing the grandparents for their children's mistakes/wrongdoings.



However, because of my situation (I'm married to my soon to be daughters father) I wouldn't want grandparents rights to be automatic at all. It might sound like we're being selfish with not wanting our daughter around his mother... but the truth is that she's not a good example with her lifestyle.

Krista - posted on 06/09/2010

12,562

16

842

I don't think it should be automatic, but I do think that unless there is a history of abuse or neglect by those grandparents, that the courts should give them rights. I've heard of too many sad cases where one half of the couple dies or moves away, and the custodial parent refuses to let the erstwhile parent's parents see the kids. My sister's ex-husband is a royal dick and doesn't get on with my mom. I know that if anything (fate forbid) ever happened to my sister, he would refuse to allow any of my sister's family to see their kids, just because he's such a hateful bastard.

Basically, it comes down to what's best for the kids in question. If the grandparents are a positive factor in the child's life, then they should be allowed to see the child, regardless of what the parent's feelings are. If the grandparent is a negative factor, then no, they should not be allowed.

[deleted account]

Here in the UK grandparents don't have any legal rights to their grandchildren. I don't they should have automatic rights to see their grandchildren either. If there's a reason the child's parents don't want the grandparents to see the child then that's their decision.

Lyndsay - posted on 06/09/2010

2,008

19

175

I think they should have rights, but I think they should be dependent on the situation and what the grandparents are doing for the kids. For example, if grandparents are being denied visits with their kids I think they should be able to apply for scheduled visits, but the courts should have to examine the situation and look at WHY they are being denied by the parents. If it comes down to the parents being selfish, then the grandparents should definitely be granted visits. But if its something like the grandparents have a history of abuse or something and the parent is just trying to protect their own child, then at best they should be given supervised visits.

Amber - posted on 06/09/2010

1,909

13

144

Nope, I don't think that they should have automatic rights. In situations where the parents aren't good parents, they should be able to fight for the children. But if both parents are alive and well, then it is the parent's decision who sees that child.

The parents brought them into the world, care of them, pay their bills, attend to their daily needs, and the grandparents shouldn't get to trump their decision simply because they want to.

My son sees my mom and step dad and his dad's mom and step dad. But we do not see my father because he was abusive to me when I was a child. And nobody can tell me that that man needs to be a part of my son's life. It would only make him feel the same fear and anger that I feel.

Jennifer - posted on 06/09/2010

145

23

27

I don't think that grandparents should have automatic rights. I don't with hold my kids from my in laws, my in laws choose not to come see my kids as often as they could so in turn my kids are not comfortable around them so I would not dream of forcing my kids to have visitation with them. I feel like as a parent my husband and I should be able to choose who spends time with our kids and how often.

[deleted account]

I agree that it should not be automatic. Not all grandparents are good people. I think if parents want to limit the access the grandparents have to their child, there is probably good reason for it.



Like I said, sadly, some parents may unfairly not allow a grandparent to spend enough time with their child. But, I still do not feel that is not enough reason to give someone else legal rights to someone else's child...just because you wish to see them more.



The reason I raised this question is because it seems to be coming up a lot lately. One example: My friend's MIL recently threatened her with grandparent rights, when she wouldn't let her come visit as often as she liked. (But she still visited a very reasonable amount of time.) My friend works full-time, and doesn't want to lose that extra time with her children. I do not believe in this case that the MIL should be guaranteed, say one day a week, with her grandchildren. Its in the best interest of the children to spend more time with their MOTHER, not grandmother.



I do agree that in most cases, that of course children *should* spend time with their grandparents. But, I don't think it should be an automatic right. It should be the parents' decision who spends time with their children, and how much time is spent.

LaCi - posted on 06/09/2010

3,361

3

171

I don't think grandparents should have any rights. Situation: Girl is molested by stepfather, mother ignored her when she told her, girl eventually moves in with biological father to get out of situation, girl has a child later and grandma, step grandpa have a right to see the child? Not at all. Screw that. There are plenty of disgusting individuals that are never convicted of their crimes, and the mother(and father) should absolutely have the right to limit their child to people they deem safe and appropriate, and should not have to be around these disgusting individuals that have caused them so much trauma because they want to see their grandchild.



this actually did end up in court and the disgusting grandparents were granted visitation rights, if I'm not mistaken. I don't know every detail, just that stepdad was a pedo and the parents suspected the child was being abused as well.

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010

9,593

15

387

Usually in cases where this issues come up are in divorce cases where the father (or mother) as walked away and the fathers (or mothers) parents want to see there grandchildren but the mother (or father) refuses. If they are genuinely great people why do they get punished because there child is a dead beat they most definitely should take it to court and fight for visitation rights.

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010

9,593

15

387

Yes grandparents should certainly be allowed to see there grandchildren. They are part of there family as well and shouldn't be forgotten.

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

26,282

36

3891

In the situation you outline, even a biological parent may not be granted custody. I think everyone has the right to argue their case, but no, it should not be an automatic right to gain visitation.

[deleted account]

Jodi,



I do agree if one parent dies, is incarcerated, etc, then in that case, a grandparent would have rights. But that is a little different, because then it becomes an issue of guardianship/custody, not just visitation. Or, if the parents are deemed unfit for whatever reason (abuse, drugs, etc), then I definitely would advocate for the children to removed from the situation and placed with relatives.



However, to give an example. What if one of the grandparent constantly spoke ill of you to your child, or lied to you about what they did with your child while under their care? In that case, should the grandparent still have a legal right to visit with your child on say, a weekly basis?



Edited: Oops...just re-read your post. Skip the custody/guardianship part, since that doesn't apply to what you said, as one parent would be living/caring for the child. I do think in extreme cases like you mention...a grandparent should seek visitation rights. But what about in a situation like my example above?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms