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Is a Grandparent Entitled to Visitation with a Grandchild?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Firm News

Yes, but the court has rules. In Indiana, the court can allow visitation rights to a

grandparent if the court determines that visitation would be in the best interests of the grandchild.

However, not all grandparents are entitled to ask for grandparent visitation. A grandparent may ask the court for visitation rights with a grandchild only if:

● The grandchild’s parent is dead/has died

● The grandchild’s parents are divorced

● The child was born outside of marriage (Note that the paternal grandparents of a child

born outside of marriage can ask for grandparent visitation only if paternity has been


If the grandchild’s parents are alive and are still married to each other, the grandparents cannot ask the court for visitation with the grandchild. Also, if the child was born outside of

a marriage and paternity has not been established for the child, the paternal grandparent

cannot ask the court for visitation with the grandchild.

How will the court determine if it is in the best interest of the child to order grandparent visitation?

The court will consider any factors relating to the child, the parent, and the grandparent. The court will consider whether the grandparent has had (or has tried to have) meaningful contact with the grandchild. The court will presume that a fit parent’s decisions are in the best interests of the child. Thus, the court will give special weight to the parent’s wishes and whether the parent has allowed some visitation with the grandchild. The court will look first at the relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent, but the

court will also look at all of the circumstances, including the relationship between the

grandparent and the parent.

Can great-grandparents seek visitation with their great-grandchild

under the grandparent visitation statute?

No. The court strictly follows the Indiana law on grandparent visitation. This law gives the right to ask for visitation only to grandparents, not great-grandparents.

Can I ask the court for grandparent visitation rights if I want more visitations with my grandchild than I am getting now?

You can ask the court to order grandparent visitation if you want more visits. However, the court will probably not interfere with the parent’s decision on how much visitation to give you. If you are already getting visits and the parents do not want to give you more, the court will most likely not order more visits for you.

What should I do if I want to get grandparent visitation rights?

First, you should talk to the child’s parents. It is better to work these things out between the

family without going to court, if possible. If you cannot reach an agreement with the child’s

parent and you think you are entitled to ask the court for visitation, you can contact an attorney for a consultation.

How can I schedule an appointment with the Law Office of Riley & Ahler PC?

You may call the office at 219-964-4156 or schedule an appointment on our website:

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