Experienced Family Law Attorneys Fight for Children’s Best Interests
The Harris Law Firm believes deeply that a child is raised best when surrounded by family. Cooperative community ties within the family are important for developing self-esteem, identity, and stability—this is especially true after divorce. The splitting of the family unit does not just involve parents. It includes separating aunts and uncles, pairs of grandparents, cousins, and others. Our experienced family law attorneys represent family members who wish to see their young relatives, particularly grandparents.
Grandparents’ Right to Contact
Although their rights are more vulnerable, grandparents do have limited visitation rights to their grandchildren in the eyes of the law. When both parents are living and married, grandparents do not have rights to see their grandchildren—a parent’s decision to keep a child away from grandparents is usually validated by the law. However, there are three circumstances in which a grandparent has the right to remain in contact with a child:
- The parents are divorced or separated
- The child is in non-parent custody
- The grandparent’s child (one of the parents) has died
The law typically upholds the idea that a child should be in contact with extended family. Whenever possible, courts like to see that children are spending time with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins, in addition to parents and siblings. At the same time, a grandparent’s visitation rights are tied to the parent’s. If a parent loses visitation rights or custody, by extension so does the extended family on that side. This applies to sole custody as well as adoption—all visitation rights for family is tied to the legal parent’s.
Fighting for Visitation
The only way for grandparents to sue for visitation rights is to file a “rebuttal presumption.” This requires a court hearing where they attempt to prove that contact with the child is in the child’s best interests. This may involve proving that the parents in question do not have their child’s best interests at heart, and may also involve proving that the parents are not in a position to make good decisions. If you need to file a rebuttal presumption, you need skilled attorneys well-versed in family law. Contact our firm today for a consultation.
Do not let your family ties end without a fight—call a compassionate lawyer at (303) 622-5502.