Attorneys who Fight for Grandparent Visitation
Serving all of Indianapolis and the Surrounding Areas
A parent has a fundamental and constitutional right to raise their child as they see fit. Only in extreme circumstances does the Court intervene, a CHINS case is one example. Grandparent visitation can be a sensitive issue for some parents to handle.
It is important to understand what rights a grandparent has in respect to visitation with grandchildren. In Indiana, if the child’s parents are married, a grandparent does not have specific visitation rights to the child/children of the union. The parent is responsible for acting in the best interests of their child and has discretion over visitation issues.
However there are instances which allow a grandparent to petition to court for visitation rights. In the state of Indiana, a grandparent can ask the court for visitation rights with their grandchild if:
• The grandchild’s parent is dead;
• The grandchild’s parents are divorced; or
• The child was born outside of marriage (paternity must be established first).
The court is not obligated to rule in favor of the grandparent and will make its decision based on what it determines is in the best interest of the child. Some of the things that a court will consider is what degree of involvement in the child’s life the grandparent had before the divorce or death of the parent occurred. It is the responsibility of the grandparent to show that maintaining a relationship with the child will contribute to the overall well-being of the child.
Whether you are the grandparent or the parent in a visitation dispute, it is important to first consider how this dispute will impact the family relationships and the child’s well-being. Understanding a person’s motivations for wanting to be a part of the child’s life can go a long way in reaching an agreement for visitation. If it is not possible to come to an agreement, you should speak with an experienced Indianapolis family law attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
Grandparent visitation is not the same thing as parenting time. Parenting time guidelines have been established by the state of Indiana to ensure that a child’s psychological and physical needs are met by both parents when possible. The court views grandparent visitation differently. If you are a grandparent who wishes to petition the court for visitation rights for your grandchild or if you are a parent who disputes the grandparent’s request for visitation, you should speak to an experienced Indianapolis grandparent visitation lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Our attorneys have experience in parenting time and grandparent visitation issues. Contact the Indianapolis family law practice of Cohen & Malad, LLP by phone at 317-636-6481 or fill out the contact form to discuss your specific circumstance to hear your legal options.