Can parents keep grandparents away from seeing their grandchildren, or can the grandparents demand a right to visitation?

If a parent has died, been denied custody of the children, or had his or her parental rights terminated, then the grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights. If none of these circumstances exist but a parent is denying access to the grandchildren, the grandparents would need to prove that they have a viable relationship with their grandchildren but are being unreasonably denied access to them. A viable relationship means that they have had frequent contact with the grandchildren, including occasional overnight visits, for a year or more, or they cared for the grandchildren while the parent was in jail or serving military duty. The grandparents must also prove that they provide some measure of financial support to the grandchildren for at least six months. Finally, the court must determine that visitation is in the best interests of the grandchildren. Whether you are seeking visitation or wish to deny access, you should get legal representation to help you through this adversarial process and courtroom hearing.