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Grandparent Visitation

Grandparent Visitation

Parents are generally entitled to visitation rights, but are grandparents? In Indiana, grandparents may seek visitation with their grandchild(ren), but only in some situations. First, only parents of the non-custodial parent can seek grandparent visitation. So, if you are a grandparent and your child has custody of the child(ren), you cannot seek visitation rights. Second, grandparents can only seek visitation in these three scenarios:

  1. the child’s parent is deceased;
  2. the marriage of the child’s parents has been dissolved in Indiana; or
  3. the child was born out of wedlock.

If you find yourself under scenario (3), it should be noted that a court cannot grant visitation rights to a paternal grandparent if the child’s father has not established paternity.

If a court grants visitation rights to the grandparents, the court must determine that visitation rights are in the best interest of the child. However, the court will presume that a fit parent’s decision about grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest. To be successful, a grandparent must overcome that presumption.

When determining whether a grandparent should receive visitation rights, the court must address 4 key points: (1) the presumption that a fit parent acts in their child’s best interests; (2) the special weight that must be given to a fit parent’s decision to deny or limit visitation; (3) whether the grandparent has established that visitation is in the child’s best interests; and (4) whether the parent has denied visitation or has simply limited visitation.

If you are involved in a grandparent visitation dispute, call McNeelyLaw today at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced family law attorney.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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