In most families, children have a special relationship with their grandparents. When a divorce or other circumstance separates children and grandparents, it can be harmful to all parties. Family law courts recognize how beneficial a strong child/grandparent bond is. With the best interests of the children at heart, many of these courts allow estranged grandparents to seek legal visitation or even child custody in some situations.
Ohio grandparents interested in acquiring visitation or child custody rights will benefit from legal representation, which can improve their odds of success. Together with a knowledgeable family law attorney, grandparents can prepare a case that shows the court how a continued relationship will enhance the child's life. The first legal step is filing a motion with the court requesting visitation, custody or companionship rights with the grandchild.
Once the motion is filed, the court will review the case and determine if a continued grandparent/grandchild relationship is a good idea for the child. The court will probably make a decision in favor of the grandparent if he or she can show how continued contact meets the child's best interests. Other factors that can play a role in the court's decision include:
- The physical and mental health of all involved parties
- The geographical location of the child, the parents and the grandparents
- The age of the child
- The child's expressed wishes (when applicable) regarding grandparent visitation
- The criminal background (if any) of the person requesting child custody or visitation
Ohio is one of the states that recognizes the rights of grandparents. This means that it may be easier to acquire visitation in Ohio as a grandparent than it is in other states.