Mississippi Family Law Attorney Talks about Grandparent Visitation

When parents are involved in a custody dispute, they are likely to be most concerned about what will happen to them, and to the amount of time that they are able to spend with their children. However, many children enjoy spending time with other adults who are not parents, such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents. When parents make decisions regarding custody, the ability of some of these individuals to spend time with the children may be affected. Depending upon where the parents live in relation to a child’s grandparents, the degree of grandparent involvement in the child’s life prior to a division of custody, and other factors, some grandparents may experience a drastic reduction in the amount of time that they can spend with their grandchildren.

            In families where grandparents provide child care and other family support, their ability to visit with the children is sometimes addressed in the custody agreement as part of a plan for child care. At other times, custody agreements deal solely with the parents and leave visitation with other adults, including grandparents, to the parents’ discretion. There is no national law requiring that grandparent visitation be addressed in custody cases, nor do grandparents have any absolute rights to visit with their grandchildren.

            The benefits of grandparent relationships to children are widely acknowledged, as are grandparents’ abilities to support their children, in-laws, and former in-laws in their parenting. Without a guarantee of visitation, though, both grandparents and their grandchildren are at risk of having those beneficial relationships reduced or eliminated. Fortunately, parents may choose to acknowledge grandparent relationships in child custody agreements. Also, in certain situations, grandparents may seek visitation under the Grandparent Visitation Act of 1983. As it does with anything that affects a child, the court will consider the “best interest of the child” when it makes its determination of whether to award grandparent visitation.

The specific group of grandparents who may petition the court for visitation in Mississippi includes the parents of parents who were either not awarded custody of their children (the other parent got full custody), or whose parental rights have been terminated. Other grandparents who do not fit the aforementioned description may also petition the court for visitation, but they must prove that the children’s parents are being unreasonable in denying them the opportunity to visit grandchildren with whom they have viable relationships. Of course, grandparents who seek visitation through the courts should know that the process is likely to promote divisiveness within the family. However, in cases where the court determines that an award of grandparent visitation will serve the best interests of the children, grandparents often find that the unpleasantness or inconvenience of dealing with the children’s parents on the issue of visitation is often well worth the joy of seeing their grandchildren and continuing to be a part of their lives.

If you are a grandparent who would like to pursue grandparent visitation through the courts, Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole may be able to help you. Likewise, if you are a parent involved in a custody dispute and you wish to include grandparent visitation as part of your parenting plan, Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you accomplish that. Please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to set up a free consultation.


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Mississippi Family Law Attorney Talks about Grandparent Visitation
Mississippi Family Law Attorney discusses grandparent visitation.