Grandparents are important members of a family. Speaking from personal experience, they want to be involved in a child’s life almost as much as the parents. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that grandparents are deeply concerned about the interests of their grandchildren. However, the title of the article is a bit of a misnomer. This is because in Oklahoma, grandparents and other 3rd party relatives have virtually no statutory right to visitation. Our Grandparents rights attorneys in Tulsa can help provided certain circumstances exist.
When Can I Assert a Grandparents Right to Visitation:
Oklahoma has established that in special circumstances, grandparents may ask to intervene as a 3rd party to a divorce or paternity action. They may also file their own action in Family Law Court to establish visitation with their grandchildren.
In order to establish grandparent visitation, several things must be established in a court proceeding. First, the grandparent must have a preexisting relationship with the child. Second, there must also be a disruption of the intact nuclear family. This shows by a divorce proceeding, the death of one of the parents, the incarceration of one of the parents and if the grandparent previously exercise “custody” even without a court order.
After establishing this disruption or the nonexistence of a nuclear family, the grandparent will have to demonstrate that there has been an extensive pre-existing relationship with the child. The Grandparent must show that to discontinue this relationship will result in the child suffering harm or potential harm without the granting of visitation rights to the grandparent of the child.
Other Considerations The Court Looks at:
- the willingness of the grandparent or grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent or parents;
- the length, quality and intimacy of the preexisting relationship between the child and the grandparent;
- the love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parent and child;
- the motivation and efforts of the grandparent to continue the preexisting relationship with the grandchild;
- the motivation of parent or parents denying visitation;
- the physical/mental health of the grandparent or grandparents;
- the physical and emotional health of the child;
- the health both mental and physical of the parent or parents;
- if the child is in a permanent, stable, satisfactory family unit and environment;
- the moral fitness of the parties;
- the character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the homes of the parties and such person’s interactions with the child;
- the quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact the visitation will have on the customary activities of the child; and
- if both parents are dead, the benefit in maintaining the preexisting relationship.
Contact Our Grandparents Rights Attorneys in Tulsa:
If you have a Grandchild and visitation is being withheld, call our Grandparents rights attorneys in Tulsa today. We have helped countless other grandparents answer questions regarding when and if they can get a family court order for visitation of their Grandchildren. As set out in this article, Grandparents rights rely on a case by case basis. Call us today for a free consultation with one of our Child Custody Attorneys.
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