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Grandparents: Questions About ...

Grandparents: Questions About Legal Rights

Child Custody Lawyer

Over the past several decades, American popular culture has become more illustrative of the diverse structures that make up “the average family.” While many households contain a one or more parents and a child or children, millions of American households are constructed differently. Some children are raised by a combination of parent(s) and other family members, while other kids are raised by siblings, extended family members and/or grandparents. As popular culture has increasingly embraced this reality, many families have become vocal about both exercising and protecting their unique rights. Thankfully, this transition has empowered grandparents, siblings and extended family members to ask questions about their rights when doing so becomes necessary or generally helpful.

Most of the time, it is best to consult an attorney when facing questions about family-related rights that are non-traditional in nature. For example, if you are a grandparent curious about obtaining custody of your grandchildren, an attorney will be best placed to advise you after learning about your family’s unique circumstances. Similarly, if you are a grandparent curious about how to effectively leave your grandchildren property through your will, an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to guide you.

Grandparental rights under the law are not always straightforward. They may vary from state to state and may be treated differently depending on the nature of certain familial relationships. For example, custody decisions must be made with the “best interests of the child” standard in mind. If you have taken care of your grandchild for a significant amount of time, have a close relationship with that child and are a fit caregiver, you may be entitled to visitation and/or custody rights under the law because denying your grandchild access to your care may not be in his or her best interests. However, parents are generally granted certain legal rights to their children that may prohibit grandparents from seeing their grandchildren under certain circumstances. It is precisely because the legal rights of grandparents are so complex and varied that it is helpful to consult an attorney about specific situations.

If you are thinking about consulting an attorney with questions, please keep in mind that a consultation does not result in any obligations to take legal action. Sometimes families hesitate to seek guidance because they fear that doing so will prohibit them from pulling back on the idea of legal action. Speaking with an attorney does not commit you to any action whatsoever, so please seek guidance whenever you need it.

Legal Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about the rights that the law affords grandparents, please consider reaching out to an experienced family lawyer Rockville, MD chooses. Every family’s situation is unique, so it is important not to become overly discouraged (or optimistic) before speaking with an attorney about your specific circumstances. Various states tend to handle the rights of grandparents somewhat differently, so your legal protections and entitlements may shift depending upon which state you are located in and which state your grandchildren are located in. Speaking with an attorney will help you to better understand your personal options and make informed decisions about your family’s legal needs.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Daniel J. Wright for their insight into grandparent rights and family law.

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