Parents are usually involved in visitation and child custody battles, although this is not always the case. In many families, grandparents have a significant role in raising their grandchildren and occasionally serve as primary caretakers.

This article provides information and tips about grandparents’ rights. State laws about visitation and child custody cases are summarized here. We also discuss the factors that courts consider when deciding cases involving grandparents.

Do Grandparents Have Legal Rights Toward Their Grandchildren?

Yes. Grandparents are permitted to visit their grandchildren in most states. State law governs their visitation and custody rights. In certain situations, grandparents may step in to care for their grandkids.

Las Vegas Grandparents Child Custody Rights

Grandparents’ Rights: Basics for Child Custody

In most cases, grandparents seeking custody have to show that the original parents are unfit. Alternatively, they must demonstrate that the child’s living with them is in their best interests. According to state law, this is frequently a complicated legal procedure dependent on numerous variables. In addition, the grandparents might have to go to court to ask for custody or visitation if the custodial parents object.

The US Supreme Court has upheld the fundamental rights of biological parents. However, the court decided in Troxel v. Granville (2000) that grandparents might get court-ordered custody or visitation under certain conditions. State laws also tend to be substantially broader. They could consist of siblings and other relatives. These are frequently called “nonparent” or “third-party” visitation privileges.

Certain states have more limitations. Grandparents might need to have passed away to be qualified for child custody or “conservatorship. ” If not, grandparents must convince the court that granting them custody is in the child’s best interests. A presumption exists in favor of parental custody in the courts. Usually, there isn’t enough evidence to refute this assumption, even if the grandchild and grandparent have a very close relationship.

The court will ultimately decide on the parenting schedule and custody arrangement. The court will consider the state-mandated factors.

How Grandparent Visitation Rights Are Granted 

No formal process is necessary if grandparents are encouraged to visit their grandchildren or if guardians at least let it. However, a grandparent (or any nonparent, such as a stepparent) may apply to the court for visitation or custody rights that the court mandates. In this situation, the nonparent must show that having custody is best for the child. It implies that choices must be made with the child’s safety and well-being in mind.

When reaching this decision, courts will take into account several factors, including but not limited to:

  • The child’s relationship or bond with their grandparents
  • The grandparent’s and grandchild’s relationship
  • How recently did the child and grandparent communicate
  • The potential effect of visitation on the parent and child
  • If grandparent visitation would unjustly interfere with the child’s time with their parents
  • Any past instances of grandparental child abuse or neglect.
  • Any past mental health issues grandparents may have had.

Child support may also be given by the child’s parents to grandparents, who are granted custody of the child. It may happen if the grandparent possesses physical and legal custody of the child. The needs of the minor child should be met via child support. These necessities could be clothing, food, and shelter. The child’s parent may also utilize child support to cover educational and medical expenses.

How Grandparents Can Obtain Custody

Even if your adult child objects, you may still be able to obtain custody of your grandchild depending on several factors, including where you currently live. A grandparent may not be granted custody in several states unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • One or both parents have passed away.
  • The parents are unfit, with problems including drug or alcohol addiction, crime, mental illness, abuse, or neglect.
  • The parents had divorced or were no longer a couple.
  • The parents consent to the grandparents taking custody of only one parent if the other parent’s location is unknown.
  • During a child protective services investigation, custody is granted to the grandparents to keep the child safe.
  • The grandchild had already resided with their grandparents when something else happened, like one parent going to prison.
  • The grandchild is ready to express to a judge their desire to live with the grandparents.
  • Until the young mother can care for the child independently, the court awards joint custody to the grandparent and the mother.
  • Grandparents are named guardians in a will after both parents pass away unexpectedly.

Grandparents whose custody a court refuses may still be granted visitation rights, which are more easily obtained but frequently denied. There are other reasons why custody could be refused that are unrelated to the situations mentioned above. For example, it would be difficult for grandparents to take their children to appointments, play with friends, or do activities if they could not drive. The grandparents’ home’s location may also play a role because the judge will decide what is best for the child, including keeping them in the same school.

Child Custody Attorney Las Vegas NV

Getting Legal Help for Child Custody

Speak with an attorney if you’re a grandparent seeking custody of your grandchild. A family law attorney can assist you through the challenging child custody procedure. They may provide information about your state’s visitation and custody laws and how to get child custody. Grandparent custody occurs more rarely than parental custody. Look for a Las Vegas child custody lawyer who has handled cases similar to this one.

Family law attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and offer insightful legal advice. If you want to pursue custody of a grandchild, speak with our knowledgeable family law attorney today.