Do Grandparents Have Visitation RightsThe answer to this question contains both good news and bad. On the one hand, grandparents don’t automatically have or get visitation rights. If you are a grandparent, and your son or daughter is going through a divorce where children are involved, unless you take an active role, you’re not going to have any guaranteed visitation rights.

The upshot here is that the courts are primarily interested in what’s best for the child. If you want to get involved in the divorce proceedings, and you can demonstrate that you have a stable home, and an “engendered relationship” with your grandchild, then the odds are excellent that the court will grant you visitation, or even custodial rights.

These matters are much more complex than ordinary divorce proceedings, so nothing should be done without first consulting an attorney, and you should understand that custodial rights are significantly more difficult to obtain than simple visitation rights, but both are entirely possible.

Your odds of getting visitation and/or custodial rights increase dramatically in certain situations. If, for instance, one of the spouses involved is incarcerated, or undergoing drug rehabilitation, a powerful case could be made that the home of the grandparents could provide much needed stability during an uncertain time, and the courts will tend to look favorably on such petitions.

Even in the absence of any situation like that, however, if you can demonstrate care and concern for the child, a stable household, and provide some documentation that details an ongoing relationship, it is quite likely that you can get some level of visitation. Again, the judge who hears the case doesn’t have an axe to grind against anyone and is primarily interested in what serves the best interests of the child in question.

Divorce always creates uncertainty in the life of a child. Grandparents who open their homes by petitioning for visitation rights can go a long way toward making the transition easier on the child, and that’s a very good thing.