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How do grandparents obtain visitation?

If you are an Ohio grandparent, your relationship with your grandchild(ren) likely is one of the highlights of your life. Unfortunately, however, should your grandchild’s parents divorce, you may encounter difficulty obtaining visitation rights to him or her.

As explains, the Ohio Supreme Court declared back in 1994 that “grandparents have no constitutional right of association with grandchildren.” What this means is that should you wish to pursue legal avenues by which to obtain visitation with your grandchild(ren), you must do so according to Ohio statute.

You may file a petition for visitation in only the following three circumstances:

  1. If your grandchild(ren)’s parents are unmarried
  2. If one of your grandchild(ren)’s parents is deceased
  3. If your grandchild(ren)’s parents have divorced or separated

Unfortunately, you cannot obtain visitation rights if your grandchild(ren) is or are part of an intact family.

Grandparent visitation factors

As with all court proceedings pertaining to a child’s custody or visitation, the court must find that your visitation with your grandchild(ren) is in his, her or their best interests. In addition, the court will take many factors into consideration including the following:

  • Any wishes or concerns the child(ren)’s parents have expressed to the court
  • The interactions of the child(ren) themselves with their parents and the members of their extended family
  • The location of your residence and how far away you live from your grandchild(ren)
  • The time the child(ren) has or have for visitation with you per school schedules and the time the parents have available per their employment schedules

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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