How You Can Protect Your Grandparent’s Rights

August 1, 2016

child custody lawyer Ohio

In Ohio, a grandparent’s right to be involved in the life of his or her grandchild depends largely on the decisions made by the child’s birth parents. Courts and officials from child welfare agencies may also get involved. The principal consideration will always be finding placements and setting up arrangements that serve the child’s best interest. Offering solutions that ensure the child will have a stable home, loving relatives, and good opportunities to grow into a happy and productive adult is where a grandparent has a case to make for seeing and caring for a grandchild despite divorce, out-of-wedlock birth, and difficult family circumstances. 

What Can a Grandparent Request? 

A grandparent can request visitations with grandchildren. While this can be uncomplicated when the child’s parents are married and the grandparent has a strong relationship with his or her own son or daughter, maintaining access to one’s grandchildren can become difficult or impossible. When a child’s parents divorce or never marry, Ohio law provides no absolute rights of visitation to a grandparent. A custodial parent can shut out the parents of an ex-spouse, and a parent can move without approval from grandparents. 

A grandparent can also petition to legally adopt a grandchild. Judges and adoption agencies tend to view adoptions by grandparents favorably, as such arrangements keep families intact. Still, a grandparent must go through all the family court and home inspection processes required for third-party adoptions. When a grandparent gains official custody of a grandchild, he or she can also take measures to enforce child support orders. 

Last, a grandparent can ask to have input on education, health care, and housing decisions that affect his or her grandchild. Whether parents act on their own mother or father’s advice, however, is largely up to them unless the grandparent feels it is necessary to involve law enforcement personnel and child protective services. 

Enforcing Your Rights as a Grandparent 

Consulting with an Ohio child custody lawyer should be one of your first steps if you find yourself cut off from your grandchildren. Speaking with a family law attorney will help you understand if you can, for instance, have grandparent visitation schedules written into a divorce settlement or if you have a case to make for overcoming a noncustodial parent’s objections to letting you adopt your grandchild. 

Achieving the outcome that you desire can require entering into mediation or arbitration, and concluding an adoption will definitely mean appearing in court at least once to have a judge sign off on the new child custody arrangement. Working closely with your own legal advisor instead of relying on other lawyers involved in the case will ensure that you have an expert working solely on your behalf. 

To schedule a free consultation on your rights as a grandparent and to discuss your options regarding visitation, custody, adoption, and a grandchild’s welfare, call Edward F. Whipps & Associates at (614) 461-6006. You can also contact us through this website. We know you want the best for your grandchildren. Tell us how we can help you achieve that.

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