For many Indiana families, it may be common for grandparents to visit their grandchildren often or even serve as part-time caregivers. As a grandparent, you may be able to create such an arrangement by communicating directly with your child and his or her spouse. However, complications such as divorce may make visitation arrangements more challenging. Depending on the exact nature of your situation, Indiana law may allow you to establish legal visitation rights with your grandchildren.
According to the Indiana state government’s website, there are certain circumstances when you may seek visitation rights with your grandchildren. The most common situation is when your child and his or her spouse divorce. If this happens, you may petition for visitation rights. A court may grant your request if it determines that visitation rights are in the child’s best interest. Some of the factors that may affect your petition include whether you have an existing relationship with your grandchild or whether you have attempted to have meaningful contact with him or her.
While divorce is the most common situation that may encourage you to seek visitation rights, there are other times when you may do so. For example, you may get the legal right to visit your grandchildren if their parent (your child) passes away. In the event that you have a grandchild born out of wedlock, your visitation rights may be slightly more complicated. As a maternal grandparent, it may be fairly simple to request visitation rights if your daughter is not married to your grandchild’s father. If you are a paternal grandparent, however, you may only request visitation rights after a paternity test has confirmed that your son is the child’s biological father.
This general information on grandparent visitation rights is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.