A grandparent, great-grandparent, step-parent, or another person who has maintained a parent-child relationship with the child may ask the court to grant them reasonable visitation times with that child. The child’s parents must have notice of the requested visitation for the court to grant visitation rights, and the court must determine that visitation is in the child’s best interest. At Derr & Villarreal, LLC, we are passionate about helping our clients do what is in their children’s best interest.
West Bend Visitation Rights Lawyer
Protecting Rights of Third Parties in East Central Wisconsin Family Law Matters
Common Challenges Grandparents Face
The court affords a great amount of deference to the parent’s decision to limit a child’s relationship with a grandparent, or any other third party. The burden for grandparents of children whose parents were never married is higher than for grandparents of children whose parents are married. When paternity of the child has been determined, grandparents of a child whose parents were never married must prove that they maintained a relationship with the child and the child’s parent interfered with that relationship as well as the fact that the grandparent will follow the parents custody determinations.
Reasons to Pursue Custody as a Third Party
- As a relative of the child, you can ask the court to award you custody if:
- Both parents are unable to care for the child (for example, a parent is deceased or incarcerated)
- Neither parent is fit to have care and custody of the child (for example, have abused the child, have substance or alcohol abuse problems, or have abandoned the child)
- It is in the best interest of the child.
- Relatives and non-relatives can also pursue a guardianship action to obtain care and decision making for the child.