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Grandparent Visitation and Custody Guidelines


During divorce, courts use the key legal standard of the best interest of the child before issuing child custody or child visitation orders, including orders granting grandparents' rights to visitation. State divorce courts vary on the considerations and criteria involved to determine the best interest of the child. Some divorce laws spell out specific conditions, requirements and guidelines, while other states leave much to the judge's discretion.

Divorce courts may consider many factors when making decisions about visitation rights for grandparents. Factors are similar to child visitation and child custody considerations during the divorce process.

Factors Considered when Granting Grandparent Visitation and Custody:

  • Health, emotional health, safety and welfare of the child
  • Grandparents' ability to meet the child's needs
  • Wishes of the parents, grandparents and the child
  • Relationship between the child and grandparents
  • Evidence indicating child neglect or child abuse by the parents or grandparents
  • Evidence of substance abuse by the parents or grandparents
  • Child's adjustment and comfort level in the home, school and community
  • Distance between where the child and the grandparents live
  • Ability and willingness of the parents and grandparents to love and nurture the child

Guidelines determining visitation rights for grandparents depend on laws in your state. Learn how your state courts interpret visitation rights for grandparents and the considerations made during when enforcing child visitation. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out a divorce case review form to connect with a local divorce lawyer today. Take all the steps you can to protect your relationship with your grandchild.

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The above synopsis of child visitation laws is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.