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Divorce Guide

Grandparent's Rights In Divorce

Though the grandparent's rights in divorce are not clearly mentioned in the federal law for divorce, the states have definite laws to give the grandparents custodial rights and visitation rights. As a matter of fact, the trend of grandparent's rights in divorce is fairly recent and the legal rights vary greatly from one state to the other. Therefore, it is strictly upon the local family court to decide whether to confer the custodial rights to the grandparents or not.

The custodial right of the grandparents in case of a divorce depends on many factors. While deciding on the custody of the child the court always gives top priority to the best interests of the child. So, if the court finds that both the parents of the child are unable or unfit to take proper care of the child and the grandparents are willing to take the custody of the grandchildren, the court can give the physical custody to them. But there are many factors that the court considers before awarding the custodial rights to the grandparents.
  • The first thing that is considered by the court is the well being of the child. The mental and physical health of the child, the safety and welfare of the child is always the primary concern for the court while deciding on custodial rights which may be awarded to the grandparents.
  • The capacity of the grandparents of the child to meet with the regular requirement of the child as well as the capacity to take active participation in the rearing of the child is also taken into consideration by the court while awarding grandparents custody rights.
  • The willingness of the grandparents to take the physical custody and the wish of the child to live with the grandparents are also a deciding factor while awarding the custodial rights to the grandparents. But of course, the wish of the child is considered only when he or she is capable of taking any decision.
  • The length of relationship between the child and his or her grandparents and the bonding between them is important to decide whether the grandparent's rights in divorce for custody will be granted or not.
  • The familiarity of the child with the home, area, neighborhood, school and community where his or her grandparent live is considered by the court while deciding on the custody rights to the grandparents.
  • All these are done only to ensure that the child gets a familiar, comfortable, safe and caring environment to live in.
Visitation right is also the grandparent's rights in divorce. This is to ensure that the grandparents continue to see and love their grandchildren. The visitation rights of the grandparents are awarded by the local court as the grandparent's rights in divorce as well the child’s right to maintain relationships with other family members of both of their parents. The visitation laws are different from one state to the other. Some states allow the visitation rights to the grandparents only in case of the death or divorce of the parents of the child and some states follow more flexible visitation rights.

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