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Can grandparents get visitation rights?

If you are a grandparent of a child in Ohio, you may wonder if you have any rights to visitation with that child. While your rights are not automatic like a parent's rights, the court can grant you visitation in some situations. Generally, according to the Ohio Legislative Service, to be awarded grandparents visitation rights, you must show that it is in the best interests of the child.

The court can only grant grandparents rights in three situations. The first is when the parents are not married. If you are a paternal grandparent, the father must be determined first either through voluntarily admitting or through a DNA test. The second situation is if your child dies. You can then petition for visitation rights to his or her child. The last situation is when the parent's divorce or separate. You may file for rights as part of the divorce case or after. 

You may also qualify in limited cases for visitation rights in an adoption situation. Generally, when a parent gives up his or her rights, though, your rights are forfeited as well. The exception is a stepparent adoption when your child is the parent still maintaining his or her rights. Your rights are maintained as well.

Keep in mind that grandparents visitation rights are only granted if it will be the best thing for the child. The court always defaults to what is best for the child and not the adults involved. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice. 

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