The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren should be a special one. Oftentimes, grandparents provide stability and financial support in the lives of children that parents sadly do not always offer.
Yet a grandparents’ role in a child’s life is not always appreciated by the child’s parents. Because of some internal squabble involving the parents, the rights of grandparents to see the child are often ignored. Visitation time and non-parental rights are usually not subjects for child custody agreements.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision delivered back in 2000 struck down another state’s law that allowed courts to order visitation rights for grandparents. This applied even in circumstances where the child’s best interests were at stake in visiting with the grandparents. This decision will continually make it difficult for grandparents to spend more time with their grandchildren after such a divorce – especially in times of dissension between the two parents.
Grandparents often offer to emotional and financial support to grandchildren – even when there is no opportunity of seeing the children. Such grandchildren will often be beneficiaries in their grandparents’ wills, life insurance policies and trusts.
If a grandparent feels that they have been unfairly deprived of the opportunity of seeing their grandchildren, such individuals can speak to a family law attorney to determine what options they have. Such attorneys can work with other family members and, if necessary, bring such a matter to the attention of the court by arguing such visitation would be in the best interest of the child.
Hopefully, most parents and grandparents work together in providing what is best for the child. Unfortunately, this does not always appear to be the case.
Source: Reuters, “Grandparents, purse strings and divorce,” by Temma Ehrenfeld, July 23, 2012