Grandparents often face significant hurdles when attempting to visit their grandchildren, especially if the custody of the children lies in the hands of their son- or daughter-in-law. Those seeking to gain visitation or custody rights should strive to understand the many facets of family law that govern the rights of extended family members.
Our readers in Scottsdale, Arizona, may be interested in a movement gaining steam across the country regarding grandparents' rights. After a young mother went missing, her parents started a petition directed at their state govern to allow greater visitation rights to extended family when a family member with children goes missing, and could expand the visitation rights of grandparents across that state.
The 58-year-old grandmother who started the petition has to rely on her son-in-law, who is the prime suspect in the missing case involving her missing daughter, to determine when she can see her grandchildren. Many grandparents have gained custody and are raising grandchildren in a healthy and supportive environment.
Courts have recognized that grandparents can be a positive influence in the lives of young children. In this case, the twin children and the mother had been living with the grandparents for a few years before she went missing. Custody was handed over to the woman's estranged husband.
Grandparents may still struggle to obtain visitation time if a custodial parent wishes to have little to do with them. As states begin to look into modifying custody and visitation laws, it behooves those with grandchildren or other loved ones that they cannot see to learn all they can about emerging developments.
Source: Seminole Chronicle, "Michelle Parker case results in petition," Jeff Gardenour, Nov. 18, 2012