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Can grandparents get parenting time during divorce?

When people consider the old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" they undoubtedly had grandparents in mind. In many cases, they are drivers, cooks, and maids in the same way that parents are. However, they can also be confidants and much needed teachers; especially when a child's parents are going through a divorce.

As such, many grandparents become concerned about asking to spend time with children. They may be afraid of choosing sides (between parents) or be concerned about making one party jealous. Regardless, grandparents can petition for parenting time (or visitation) rights if they are being denied access to the child.

Essentially, grandparents may file a motion asking the court to recognize the biological relationship grandparent and child, and grant parenting time in the same way that a parent would have court-ordered time. The court will review the motion and determine parenting time by applying a number of factors including, but not limited to:

•- The child's age and ability to express a preference

•- Prior interactions between the child and the grandparent

•- The location of the grandparent's home in relation to the child's

•- The amount of time the child can spend with other siblings

•- Whether the grandparent has a history of neglecting or abusing children

The number of grandparents with minor children in their homes is steadily increasing, meaning that is more common for grandparents not only to have parenting time, but also legal and physical custody of grandchildren as well. If you have questions about grandparents' rights in divorces, an experienced family law attorney can help.

Source:, Helping grandkids survive divorce, March 29, 2013

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