When you are a grandparent and divorce affects your Indiana family, you may find yourself suddenly cut off from your grandchildren because of an angry or vindictive ex-spouse. It may be that the parent who divorced your son or daughter now prevents you from seeing or contacting your grandkids.
This action may be hurtful; however, if you decide to sue for visitation rights, there are a few Indiana laws that may make the process difficult.
How does Indiana define grandparents?
IndyStar.com reports that Indiana has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, with financial strife as the most common factor. You may think that you have unlimited access to your grandchildren in the aftermath of a divorce, but some state laws may curtail those rights.
For example, if a child is born out of wedlock in the state, you or your adult child must prove paternity before visitation rights are awarded. If your adult child’s ex-spouse remarries and your grandchild is considered part of an intact family, you may not be able to pursue visitation rights.
Are the courts always involved?
If you meet the standards outlined in Indiana state law, the courts may not interfere with your rights to visitation as a grandparent. However, if you are a great-grandparent or a step-grandparent, you might not have any legal rights to see your grandchildren, at least in the eyes of the court. Most state lower courts do not allow you the right to sue for visitation in this case.
Your rights as a grandparent may also be restricted if your adult child has lost his or her parental rights of your grandkids. You may want to be aware of these and other state statutes if you decide to sue for visitation.