Seeking Visitation Rights as a Grandparent
As a grandparent, you do not enjoy the same rights to a child as that child’s
parents. That said, you still may be able to obtain legal access to spend
time with your grandchild.
A grandparent may seek visitation rights of their grandchild only if:
- One or both of the grandchild’s parents are deceased
- The grandchild’s parents’ marriage has been dissolved in Indiana
The grandchild was born outside of marriage. If
paternity is not established, a paternal (father’s side) grandparent may not
request grandparent visitation
It is important to note that if the grandchild’s parents are both
living and are still married, a grandparent cannot request the court order
visitation. Further, when the grandchild’s parents’ marriage
has been dissolved in another state, in certain circumstances, it is possible
for a grandparent to seek child visitation in Indiana with the help of
our Carmel grandparent visitation lawyer.
Grandparent Visitation Petition Process in Indiana
A proceeding for grandparent visitation starts with filing a petition in
the county in which the grandchild resides or the court that has jurisdiction
over the parents’ dissolution of marriage. If a petition is filed
and an agreement is not reached, the court will hold a hearing in which
the parties will present evidence to support their position regarding
grandparent visitation. If the court determines that visitation is in
the grandchild’s best interest, it may grant visitation rights.
In doing so, the court must enter an order that addresses:
- The presumption that a fit parent’s decision about grandparent visitation
is in the child’s best interest
- The special weight that must be given to a fit parent’s decision
regarding non-parental visitation
- Some weight given to whether a parent has denied or simply limited visitation
- Whether the grandparent has established that visitation is in the child’s
There is not a set standard of time that grandparents receive under the
Grandparent Visitation Act. The court entering visitation orders should
consider each relationship to set forth a grandparent visitation schedule
that is in the child’s best interest.
Maintaining the Court Order
Once an order granting or denying grandparent visitation is entered, the
grandparent or parent may request that the court modifies or terminates
the order. The party must present evidence to show a change in circumstances
to modify the visitation order. The court may modify the grandparent visitation
order so long as a
modification would serve the best interest of the child.
Visitation rights survive the establishment of paternity by a court other
than in an adoption proceeding. Grandparent visitation rights survive
an adoption of the grandchild by a stepparent and a person who is biologically
related to the grandchild (grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew).
Consult with Us Today
Visitation cases are emotional, which is why the assistance of a Carmel
grandparent visitation lawyer is so crucial. These types of cases require
focus and a reasonable approach to protect the grandchild’s best
interest. With a decade of experience,
Joshua R. Hains is prepared to handle your case.
contact our firm to set up an initial consultation – just call