Indianapolis Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
When you become a grandparent, you love your grandchild as one of your own. You want to be as involved in your grandchild’s life as possible. Unfortunately, you may encounter a situation in which your grandchild’s parents are attempting to restrict your access to your grandchild. Even though you are not the biological parent and do not have the legal right to make important decisions for the child such as where they go to school, you may have a legally enforceable right to see your grandchild and an Indianapolis grandparents’ rights attorney at Eskew Law can help. The state of Indiana heavily favors keeping families together and promoting the bonds between a child and their relatives. This includes the bond between grandchild and grandparent. As such, the state legislature has legally protected grandparents’ interests in maintaining relationships with the grandchildren.
If the child’s biological parents are withholding your grandchild from you, you may seek visitation rights in Indiana state court. In addition, if you suspect that your grandchild is being neglected or abused, you may request to intervene and seek custody of your grandchild. For all family law matters in Indiana, contact our Indianapolis law firm today. Our team of compassionate family law attorneys are dedicated to helping families resolve disputes so that they can return to focusing on raising and caring for healthy children. We can help you learn about your rights and can advocate for those rights in court. To discuss grandparents’ rights, call Eskew Law at (317) 974-0177.
What Are Your Rights as a Grandparent?
Like how a non-custodial parent may seek parenting time with a child, as a grandparent, you may seek “grand-parenting” rights of your own grandchild. This allows you to spend time with your grandchild. You are eligible for legally recognized parenting time rights in the following circumstances:
- The parents have divorced; or
- The parents were not married when your grandchild was born.
However, if the parents were not married at the time of the birth and paternity has not been established through affidavit or DNA testing, you do not have grand-parenting rights if you are a paternal grandparent. You may file to pursue grand-parenting when paternity is established.
Like with visitation schedules formulated between parents, the court will consider the best interests of the child in determining (1) whether grandparent visitation is proper, and (2) what the schedule should be.
To request visitation, you and your Indianapolis grandparents’ rights lawyer must file a petition with the court that shows your eligibility and proposes a reasonable visitation schedule.
Your rights are strictly confined to visitation. You will not be afforded the full legal rights bestowed upon biological parents, such as the right to physical and legal custody. However, in some situations, you may be granted custody.
Under the de facto custody law, grandparents may seek custody of a grandchild when evidence exists that overcomes the presumption that the biological parents should have custody. Often times, this occurs when the parents are unable or willing to care for the grandchild. The standard for obtaining a permanent custody order requires a high showing that the child’s long term happiness is so intertwined with the grandparent that taking the child away or otherwise deny custody would be against to the child’s development. This may also occur when the parents voluntarily relinquish their parenting rights to the grandparents because they believe it is in the best interests of the child. In many situations, the grandparents are already fully caring for and providing for the grandchild. However, custody permits them to make legal decisions such as health care decisions.
Experienced Legal Guidance on Indiana Visitation and Custody Matters
As a grandparent, you may be able to seek visitation or custody in Indiana. Our Indianapolis family law attorneys can assist you with determining whether you are eligible to petition and how to best advocate for your desired outcome. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule a case evaluation, call Eskew Law at (317) 974-0177.