Grandparents can sometimes be stabilizing influencers in the lives of children who are experiencing the turbulence of a home broken by divorce. Following the proceedings, however, extended family members are not always privy to the same amount of time they once spent with the youngest of the bunch. Ohio grandparents, you may find it helpful to know what factors the courts consider when deciding whether to grant you the right to visit your grandchildren.
The Legislative Service Commission of the Ohio General Assembly first offers a reminder to you of the situations in which the state typically approves "grandparent companionship":
- Following a parent's death
- After a couple's separation or dissolution of marriage
- In the event the child's parent is a single mom
The LSC then outlines the factors judges consider. The best interests of the children are always the court's primary concern, but the parents' wishes also come into play. Do your children have specific worries about their children visiting with you? If so, those will factor in.
The kids themselves also have a say. If they are old enough to discuss preferences with authorities, the LSC notes representatives of the court will interview them and take their responses into consideration. If your grandchildren already have established relationships with you, their views of the interaction between you will also weigh in the discussion.
The mental, physical and emotional health of everyone involved becomes a component of decisions about visitation rights, too. Is the effort to get to and from the your home too taxing? The court will consider this with all of the other factors.
This is not intended to be legal advice but to offer informational insight into grandparents' rights.