by Katie Shireman, Esquire

Often we get calls from grandparents who are concerned about getting to spend time with the grandchildren. When a couple divorces and one parents has custody of the children, it not only affects the parents and children, but other members of the family, especially grandparents. This can also occur if one parent has passed away.

Sometimes after a divorce, the custodial parent moves to another state. And sometimes, the custodial parent simply makes it difficult for their ex-spouse’s parents to see the children, regardless of their location.

A grandparent not being able to see their grandchildren is always difficult, but can be especially difficult during the holidays.

Although grandparents do not have superior rights to children over the parents, it is often the case that grandparents have enforceable rights to spend time with their beloved grandchildren, known simply as “grandparents’ rights”.

For a grandparent to fall into this category, they must meet several requirements:

  1. The parent or guardian is unreasonably keeping the child from seeing the grandparent;
  2. The grandparent and child have an established, viable relationship with one another, meaning:
  3. Grandparent has provided financially for the child for at least six months;
  4. Grandparent and child have had frequent visits, including overnight visits for at least one year.
  5. It is in the best interest of the child to see their grandparent.

If you are a grandparent and you believe you have been wrongfully stopped from seeing your grandchild, contact Katie Shireman at Seymour Law Firm, PLLC (601) 937-2197 for a free consultation to determine whether you may have a cause of action for visitation rights with your grandchildren.