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How grandparents can protect their parenting time

 

If you are a grandparent and you are having difficulty spending time with your grandchildren, you may not be alone. It is not uncommon for adult children to deny parenting time to their parents. The reasons can vary, but they likely revolve around some sort of emotionally charged dispute. For example, there could be some problems over money (or the lack thereof). The grandchild could be “unavailable” because the parent is not receiving financial help.  Or the parent is being vindictive because the grandparents do not approve of their child’s choice of a mate.

Whatever the reason, grandparents have a legal right to spend time with their grandchildren. However, this right does not come automatically.  

They must petition the court for parenting time just like unmarried fathers.  This is especially important if a child’s parents are having difficulties that prevent them from caring the children in a manner that promotes what’s in the child’s best interests.

There are a number of grandparents who are taking active roles in raising their grandchildren; especially if the child is incarcerated or has suffered a debilitating injury or illness. However, this responsibility could be unilaterally taken away unless there is a court order solidifying the grandparent’s right to custody and parenting time.

With that said, Grandparent’s Day is coming in September.  It is worth speaking to an experienced family law attorney if you are a grandparent and your child (or their spouse) is preventing you from spending time from your grandchild.

The preceding is not intended to be legal advice. 

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