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Divorce is difficult on everyone involved, but it can be especially frustrating for grandparents who want to remain involved in the lives of their grandchildren. While typical divorce procedures are in place to determine whether parents should share custody of their children and how the court should award visitation, this common divorce scheme does not pay a lot of attention to the particular needs of grandparents.
At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC, we know that each case involving grandparents’ rights is unique, and we are committing to developing an individualized case plan for you to help ensure the best possible outcome. When you work with our firm, you will have direct contact with your Jackson grandparents’ rights attorney and our staff. It is important to have experienced Jackson grandparents’ rights attorneys on your side and to get started on your case as soon as possible.
Jackson Law and Grandparents’ Rights
What does the law have to say about grandparents’ rights? Recognizing that grandparents often play a major role in the lives of their grandchildren, state law in Mississippi allows grandparents to petition for visitation rights in certain circumstances. Under Mississippi Code Section 93-16-3, grandparents can petition for visitation at one of the following points:
- At the time the court awards custody of the minor child to one of the parents;
- At the time the court terminates the parental rights of one of the parents of the minor child; and/or
- At the time one of the parents of the minor child dies.
If none of these situations exists, it may still be possible for the grandparents to obtain visitation rights. Under the statute we cited above, the grandparent(s) petitioning for visitation must be able to prove one of the following:
- The grandparent has a “viable relationship” with the grandchild and the parent of the child has unreasonably denied the grandparent visitation; and/or
- Visitation with the grandparent would be in the best interests of the child.
Whether you are seeking grandparent visitation or have concerns about your child’s grandparent attempting to obtain visitation with the child, an experienced Jackson grandparents’ rights attorney can answer your questions today.
Proving a Viable Relationship with the Grandchild
It is important to note, first, that the grandparent must prove a viable relationship with each grandchild when there is more than one grandchild involved. Then, there are a number of way a grandparent can prove a viable relationship with the grandchild. In general, the grandparent must be able to show one the following in order to prove that there is a viable relationship with the grandchild:
- Grandparent(s) voluntarily and in good faith supported the child in whole or in part for at least six months prior to filing the petition for visitation rights;
- Grandparent(s) had frequent visitation, including occasional overnight visits, with the child for at least one year; or
- Grandparent(s) provided care for the child over a “significant period of time” during which a parent was required to be away from the home (such as a period of imprisonment or military duty).
Contact a Jackson Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
Child custody and visitation often are contentious, yet it is important to keep in mind the best interests of the child. If you have questions or concerns about grandparent visitation, a Jackson grandparents’ rights attorney can assist you. Contact the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC today to discuss your options. It’s time to call Derek Hall.