Death, divorce, incarceration and estrangement can tear a family with children apart. And often, the grandparents are left out in the cold. Those same grandparents, who loved, cared for and doted upon their grandchildren, may now find themselves struggling to maintain contact with grandchildren during periods of family strife.
Although grandparent visitation rights did not exist more than 40 years ago, visitation laws today grant grandparents the legal right to visit their grandchildren. In some circumstances, courts may even award grandparents custody of their grandchildren.
At Hartley Lamas Et Al, we often see grandparents making the same heartbreaking mistake in this tragic situation. They give up. They let it slide. They figure it might be best to stay out of the situation and not rock the boat.
Our advice to grandparents? You do have rights. Do not give up. As grandparents, you have derivative child custody rights that can be enforced in a court of law if you had a preexisting relationship with a grandchild. And our elder law lawyers can help you enforce those rights.
Acting early is the key in situations where a parent is refusing to let a grandparent visit a child. Waiting for “things to get better” or for the parent to “come to their senses,” is not advisable. In fact, doing so may have an adverse impact on your ability to get visitation rights because it may appear as though you have voluntarily relinquished your right to see the grandchildren.
The family law attorneys at Hartley Lamas Et Al understand how important it is to act upon your rights early. Do not wait too long to take the steps necessary to maintain a relationship with your grandchildren, a relationship that should be fostered and grow for years to come.