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Are my child’s grandparents legally entitled to see my child?

Posted on in Firm News

You have your reasons for preferring to limit or eliminate contact between your children and their grandparents, whether these grandparents are your parents or your ex’s parents. However, the grandparents may be talking about going to court for the right to see your child.

Could they be able to visit your children over your objections?

Parental rights tend to come first

Your parental rights come first in most situations. As such, you have the right to control who gets to spend time with your children unless a situation is exceptional or a co-parent is in the picture. For instance, say that you have never liked your ex’s parents because they are crude. However, your ex is close to them and allows interaction between them and your children on your ex’s time. In such cases, it is unlikely that you could do anything legally to force your ex to ban his or her own parents from seeing the children.

Of course, you have more authority if you are the only parent in the picture.

When grandparents might have a case for legal access to your children

Suppose that you and your ex have gotten divorced. Your ex was abusive to the children and does not have custody. Your ex’s parents, however, always had a decent relationship with the children and want to see them. In such cases, it is possible that a court might order you to let your children visit with these grandparents every once in a while. The more involved the grandparents have been, the odds for access go up. Perhaps the grandparents cared for your children during the day when they were young or the children even moved in with them for months, making the grandparents primary caregivers during that time.

It is also possible that your ex’s parents could have a legal case to see your children if your ex dies, leaving you as the sole legal parent. Again, a lot depends on the nature of the relationship between your children and their grandparents.

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