What are Grandparents Rights?
- Posted on: Aug 24 2020
While grandparents do not have nearly as many rights regarding their grandchildren as parents do, they still have a number of legal rights. Despite being limited, grandparents have successfully invoked these rights a number of times. If you have grandchildren, here are some of the basic legal rights you have as their grandparent.
They Have the Right to Know if Their Grandchildren Were Removed from Their Home
If your children have created an environment that puts your grandchildren at risk, child protective services may step in. If this occurs, you have the right to know if your grandchildren have been removed from their home and are in state custody. This right comes from the Fostering Connections Act of 2008, a federal act that requires CPS to notify adult relatives that the grandchildren have been removed for their own safety. You also have the right to be a participant in any discussions about what will happen with the children.
Note that grandparents are not automatically given custody of their grandchildren. If you want to seek custody, you will have to go through the same steps and be under the same scrutiny as any other foster family.
You do have the right to see your grandchildren. In fact, there are a number of Grandparents Rights groups that have fought hard for this right, and every state has addressed grandparent visitation rights. Unfortunately, while it’s been acknowledged that you have the right to see your grandchildren, it’s not always easy going about enforcing that right. You may have to sue your children, and that can get expensive. It’s also hard to get such a visitation order enforced if you do win the case.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Rights Secure?
If you do need to sue to see your grandchildren, it helps if you can show that you are active in their lives. Visit or call when you can, invite your grandchildren to your home, celebrate birthdays and other milestones, and in general be an active part of their lives. Even if you cannot see them in person, you can send them letters or even get a smartphone to text and video chat.
If your relationship with your child reaches the point that they’re not allowing you to visit your grandchildren, you do need the help of a professional legal expert. The team at FK Law Group is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.