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Do you have any rights as a grandparent?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2023 | Child Custody

Being a grandparent is an incredible experience. You get to enjoy watching your grandchildren grow up while providing love and support every step of the way. 

But what happens if something goes wrong and you are no longer allowed to see them? Do you have any options?

When it is in the child’s best interests

In Ohio, grandparents may request visitation with their grandchildren in certain circumstances, such as:

  • The child’s parents were never married, or the child’s parents have been divorced, separated, or had their marriage annulled
  • One of the child’s parents is deceased
  • The child has been born out of wedlock, and paternity has been established through a court order

In addition to meeting one of these conditions, grandparents must also demonstrate that it is in the child’s best interests to have visitation with them. Grandparents do not have an automatic right to visitation in Ohio, and the court will carefully consider the circumstances and facts of each case before deciding.

The court will consider the following when determining the question of grandparent visitation:

  • The child and grandparent’s relationship
  • The wishes of the child (if the child is old enough to state their preference)
  • The mental and physical health of the grandparent and child
  • The parent’s wishes and reasoning
  • The location of the grandparent’s residence and its impact on the child’s daily life
  • Anything else the court considers relevant

It is also important to note that even if a grandparent has been granted visitation rights, they do not have authority over decisions regarding the child’s care or control. Visitation rights only allow grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren and do not give them any decision-making power over them.

If you are a grandparent seeking visitation with your grandchild in Ohio, it may be helpful to speak with someone who can explain your legal rights and options and guide you through the process.