Cindy Allen & Associates PLLC

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Legal rights for grandparents interested in visitation or custody

Although disagreements between parents and grandparents over the raising of a child are common, this alone is not grounds for seeking custody. Such a disagreement might cause a parent to minimize a child's contact with their grandparent, which could trigger a grandparent's interest in obtaining court-ordered visitation rights. The Oklahoma court system might allow a grandparent's visitation or custody case to move forward under certain circumstances.

Each state's standards for considering visitation and child custody cases for grandparents can differ from others, which means that it is essential to understand state-specific laws in the location with jurisdiction. Additionally, a grandparent needs to understand that the family court system will focus primarily on the best interest of a child. A strong relationship between a grandparent and grandchild prior to visitation being denied by the child's parent would be an example of a situation in which continued visitation rights could prove beneficial for the child.

The death of a parent is another situation in which that party's parent could be assigned visitation rights. In the event of a child's adoption by someone other than a stepparent or relative, state law determines whether the visitation rights of a grandparent are terminated or preserved. Custody interests might be raised if a grandparent believes that their grandchild's parents are neglecting or abusing that youngster. A grandparent would need to prove that the parties in question are unfit. Custody issues could also arise in the event of a child's parents perishing.

Accusations of unfitness can be challenging to prove, which makes sound legal advice an important factor for anyone considering filing for custody. A lawyer might begin by noting the facts of the case as well as claims of the party seeking custody. Legal counsel might also include recommendations for documenting behaviors and incidents that substantiate any allegations of neglect or abuse involving the parents.

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