In Indiana family law, most cases will center on the people who are getting a divorce, their children and how custody and visitation will be handed from their perspective. However, there are others who might have a vested interest in securing visitation rights. Frequently, that includes grandparents. Grandparents should be fully aware of the law for these situations.
Rights and best interests are essential when a grandparent seeks visitation
There are various factors that will be considered when the decision is made to grant visitation to grandparents and knowing them is important when starting a case. Grandparents have the right to request visitation in the following circumstances: if the child’s parent is deceased; if the child’s parents’ marriage was ended in Indiana; or if the child was born out of wedlock and paternity was established.
The child’s best interests are paramount in any aspect of custody and visitation and grandparent visitation is no different. The court will want to see if the grandparent has had or tried to have meaningful contact with the child. If, during the parents’ marriage, the grandparent was often at their home or had the child for day trips and outings, this could be considered meaningful contact. The child can play a role in the decision. To gauge how the child feels about grandparent visitation, the court can conduct an interview with him or her in chambers. Legal counsel can be present during the interview.
Grandparents and parents may need guidance with this type of case
Once the court has heard all the evidence, it will then decide whether to grant grandparent visitation. Grandparents may be caught in the middle during a divorce when they want to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren. This is unfortunate for the grandparent and grandchild. Before allowing the case to become contentious, it is important for everyone involved to be fully cognizant of family law when it comes to these emotional issues. Having advice with these difficult matters may be useful from the beginning and can be beneficial to reach a positive resolution.