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Understanding grandparent visitation rights

If you have grandchildren, you know how rewarding the grandparent-grandchild relationship can be. After all, you have a lifetime’s worth of experiences to share with the young ones in your family. Further, research has shown that a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren tends to reduce both stress and depression symptoms for everyone involved. 

Naturally, if your son or daughter goes through a custody battle, you may worry about losing the ability to see your grandchildren. Fortunately, Virginia law may allow you to seek visitation. Still, courts do not always grant visitation rights to grandparents. How a court is likely to view grandparental visitation typically depends on the parents' perspective. 

When both parents object 

If both parents object to your visitation, you may face an uphill battle. To win visitation rights, you must show that without regularly seeing you, the children would suffer actual harm to their health or overall well-being. Then, the court must determine that your visitation is in the best interests of the children involved. 

When one parent objects 

If only one parent objects to your visitation, you likely have an easier path for winning visitation rights in court. Instead of having to show actual harm to the children, you only must demonstrate that your visits are in the children’s best interests. 

When you reach an agreement out of court 

Divorce and child custody can be enough to tear any family apart. As a grandparent, you may worry that the actions of your child may harm your ability to see your grandchildren. While asking a court to grant you visitation rights is possible, you may choose to negotiate with your grandchildren’s parents to try to reach an agreement. Mediation may help you find common ground

As you can see, there are a few options for pursuing grandchildren visitation. If you want to continue seeing your grandkids after your child’s divorce, looking for the easiest one is likely your best bet.

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Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White
30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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