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    Frustrated grandma's Avatar
    Frustrated grandma Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Apr 2, 2007, 09:23 AM
    Grandparent visitation?
    Does any one know about grandparent visitation? How hard is it to obtain? I currently petitioned the courts for visitation of my grandsons. I have never had a relationship with them, my daughter and I don't talk. However, recently I started talking to the children's father and he has helped me to form a bond with them. I petitioned the courts to award me my own time with them because he has very little time with them himself. Will they grant me the time?
    Also, my daughter and her new husband have another baby on the way. How do I get visitation of that child as well? Does any one know any helpful hints or statisitics on how often visitation is granted??
    FLTraumaRN911's Avatar
    FLTraumaRN911 Posts: 22, Reputation: 1
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    #2

    Apr 3, 2007, 09:34 PM
    IF you live in Florida don't even try because the courts will not grant them.
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #3

    Apr 3, 2007, 11:12 PM
    If you are in the United States, check out this site: The Foundation for Grandparenting - Grandparent's Legal Section. It's very thorough and was last updated in January of this year. They have a section where they list each state and the criteria for grandparent visitation.

    If you live elsewhere, let me know and I might be able to help.

    Good luck!

    Didi
    Frustrated grandma's Avatar
    Frustrated grandma Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Apr 4, 2007, 06:41 AM
    Grammmadidi:
    In my state it say's it has to be "in the best interest of the child" and the parents have to be "deceased, divorced and/or unmarried". So does this mean that I will get granted visitation? I guess this is stating that I have NO hope for visitation with the newest grandchild, as my daughter is married to the father. But do I have hope for the older two?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #5

    Apr 4, 2007, 06:48 AM
    You might find these articles of interest:

    How you handle your adult child's divorce can affect your access to your grandchildren - Newsday.com

    Resolving visitation issues - Newsday.com

    We cannot predict what a court will do, especially without knowing the whole story. You have done what you can (petition the court foir visitation). Your attorney should be advising you as to what legal arguments to make. From there its just a matter of hoping the court will decide in your favor.
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #6

    Apr 4, 2007, 07:56 AM
    There is just no way of predicting how a judge will interpret best interests of the child, or how sympathetic a judge may be. One of the women in my Canadian grandparent's group won a custody issue by setting a precedent in a province that never ordered custody before! Make sure you have a lawyer that you trust to present your case well. I would also do as much research as you can and try to find other cases that define best interests in grandparent visitation issues, etc.

    Go to Grandsplace and see if anyone there can help you. Although this organization is primarily for grandparents raising grandchildren, the woman who runs it, or people on the bulletin boards may just be able to refer you to someone. She is very knowledgeable. It is possible to gather the information to arm yourself and your lawyer with. You just have to hunt and prepare yourself with the answers necessary.

    While I do agree with ScottGem that it is your lawyer who should be advising you, I also think that speaking with other grandparents who have been successful can provide you with some excellent tools and information to pass on to your lawyer. There are thousands of us out there! Don't give up unless you feel it is too disruptive to the children.

    Is the father willing to support you in your quest for visitation? Are you able to see the children when he has visitation himself? It is important not to interfere with his visitations. If your daughter is adamant that you should not see your grandchildren and he allows you to, it could have a detrimental effect if she finds out. Please be careful.

    I don't know your situation, but honestly, sometimes it is easier to eat dirt and make amends with your children than to spend all the money to go through all this court stuff. It can become a mudslinging contest and totally destroy ANY chance of a relationship with your grandchildren if it fails. I personally would only use court as a very last resort. I would suck up to your daughter and try to do everything and anything I could to get back into her life.

    Best of luck to you.

    Love, Didi
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #7

    Apr 4, 2007, 08:13 AM
    I agree with Didi, with one exception, I think she is using the word Custody interchangeably with Visitation and they are two different things. Custody means, at minimum, having a say in how a child is raised. At most it means the child living with the custodian. I don't think that's what you are asking for. You want Visitation, which simply means being able to spend some time with the child. Where there already exists a mother and/or father, you would have to prove abuse to get custody. However, some areas will grant visitation to grandparents.

    And please do, follow her suggestions for contacting support groups. This is a
    Fairly new area of family law and your attorney may not be aware of all the nuances.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,268, Reputation: 7689
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    #8

    Apr 4, 2007, 09:16 AM
    Yes, in the end, one will never know how a judge will decide, what one judge will do, another will not, sorry but in family law, judges do so much from opinion, even custody agreements.

    Most of the time the grandparent visitation comes into bearning when a couple is divorced. But in the end all you can do is try.
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #9

    Apr 4, 2007, 09:22 AM
    Sorry, as noted above, I typed the wrong word in my post. I hope the content of the rest of the post clearly indicates that I meant visitation.

    Didi
    Frustrated grandma's Avatar
    Frustrated grandma Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Apr 4, 2007, 10:02 AM
    Grammadidi,
    I started talking to the father about a year ago. He has been in and out of there lives the whole time. But now getting every other weekend. He has been bringing them by my house on Sunday for a few hours when he has them. The mother (my daughter) knows about this, and it has caused more problems. But I want to see the kids. And feel this is my only rought. We had a investigation done, and they investigator advised that I get one weekend every 6 months. Will the judge agree to that? My lawyer say's they normally agree with the investigations. But it's really in the judges hands and is a sticky situation. And my lawyer did state that I don't have any hope to get visitation of the new baby since he will be with both his parents and they are married. My daughter is very adimite about the kids being exchanged threw a supervised visitation center. So we would never come in contact with her. But that isn't being fair to her children... can I stop that? My lawyer doesn't believe I can?? Any thoughts?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #11

    Apr 4, 2007, 10:22 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Frustrated grandma
    We had a investigation done, and they investigator advised that I get one weekend every 6 months. Will the judge agree to that? My lawyer say's they normally agree with the investigations. But it's really in the judges hands and is a sticky situation. And my lawyer did state that I don't have any hope to get visitation of the new baby since he will be with both his parents and they are married. My daughter is very adimite about the kids being exchanged threw a supervised visitation center. So we would never come in contact with her. But that isn't being fair to her children... can I stop that? My lawyer doesn't beleive I can???? Any thoughts?
    You really are NOT listening to what we are telling you. Yes, judges normally listen to the recommendations of the investigator. But we can't tell you whether the judge will or not. You are asking us to predict a judges actions. We couldn't guarantee what a judge would do even if we had sat in court during the entire course of the hearing.

    You are paying your lawyer because he has expertise in this area. So far it appears to me he's given you correct advice so listen to him. I know this is emotional for you and you think its all unfair, but you appear to be doing all you can and you just have to leave it in the judges hands.
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #12

    Apr 4, 2007, 12:56 PM
    I think you should agree to everything the mother wants. It's the only way. I understand your pain. But, the parents have the right to determine what is in their children's best interests and the only way I can see you moving past that is to make them feel that you will bend over backwards and shoot peas through hoops to please them. In all honesty, if the investigator only suggested twice a year visits then I am concerned. I think that at best, that will be what you get. In addition, by using the father to see the grandkids you can cause problems with his visits, plus she could use it to show a negative side to you. I don't necessarily agree, but it is so.

    You need to gather as much info as you can, talk to your lawyer, and see if there is anything you can do to get on your daughter's good side. Taking her to court sure isn't the way. That is usually a last resort that I would recommend to grandparents who feel their grandkids are in danger so need visitation to ensure that they aren't.

    Will she talk to you on the phone? Have you ever just said to her, look... I really want to be in the kids lives. Is there anything that I could do to make you feel comfortable enough to let me see then every month or two?? Could we try monthly supervised visits for a year, then, if all goes well, try monthly unsupervised?

    That is the only alternative that I see than to go through the courts and maybe never getting to see them.

    Talk to your lawyer about other options. Maybe he and her lawyer could come up with an alternative. Suggest mediation... anything. The most important thing you can do is appear flexible, understanding, caring and capable. The rest is up to a judge.

    Good luck!

    Didi
    grandhaiku's Avatar
    grandhaiku Posts: 21, Reputation: 2
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    #13

    Apr 12, 2007, 10:06 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Frustrated grandma
    Does any one know about grandparent visitation? How hard is it to obtain? I currently petitioned the courts for visitation of my grandsons. I have never had a relationship with them, my daughter and I don't talk. However, recently I started talking to the childrens father and he has helped me to form a bond with them. I petitioned the courts to award me my own time with them because he has very little time with them himself. Will they grant me the time?
    Also, my daughter and her new husband have another baby on the way. How do I get visitation of that child as well? Does any one know any helpful hints or statisitics on how often visitation is granted???
    I was in the same position you are in now. My daughter and I did not speak for 5 years. I only saw my three Grandchildren through their Father. It was heartbreaking. Their Father is a control freak and I could only see them when he was around and he took up all the time with his wild stories. Long story short... I worked very hard to getting a relationship back with my Daughter. We now have a wonderful relationship and I have my Gchildren all the time. Not sure what the problems are between you and your Daughter, but worth groveling a little! If not, instead of a supervised visitation, possibly have a go-between where you can pickup and deliver the children once a month or so. Grandparents rights are hard because the parents have control of their children. If you can prove to the court it would be beneficial to the children, you have a chance at some visitation. You need to hire a good attorney who handles Grandparents Rights. I wish you all the luck in the world. Grandparents are a resource children should not be without!
    Frustrated grandma's Avatar
    Frustrated grandma Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Apr 17, 2007, 11:41 AM
    grandhaiku:
    That is nice to know there is someone out there with the same issues. Actually the father in this situation is controlling and with out him at our house he won't bring the children by either. My daughter is not happy with us be-friending him. But we felt it was the only way to see the kids. My lawyer say's some visitation could be granted. I know there is no hope with our history with our daughter to fix that relationship. And I wouldn't want to fix it to only stop the court case, and then she would not be around when we would like any way. She has truly moved on with her new husband, baby and there family.
    I don't want to do the supervised transfers of the kids cause it will be hard on them to know that they have to go threw a "center" for us to see them. Won't the kids pick up on the hostillity. I want to be able to go to my daughters house and be treated like a human and pick up my grandkids for the weekend... And when I decided to fight for visitation, that's what my husband and I thought we'd ultimatly get. But I am slowly finding out, this visitation is not going to make our daughter smoothly or nicely transfer the kids. IF we ultimatly get visitation and she doensn't talk nice to the kids about us, is there any thing we can do?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #15

    Apr 17, 2007, 11:48 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Frustrated grandma
    I want to be able to go to my daughters house and be treated like a human and pick up my grandkids for the weekend..... And when I decided to fight for visitation, that's what my husband and I thought we'd ultimatly get. But I am slowly finding out, this visitation is not going to make our daughter smoothly or nicely transfer the kids. IF we ultimatly get visitation and she doensn't talk nice to the kids about us, is there any thing we can do?
    Excuse me? You drag your daughter into court and force her to let you see your grandchildren against her will. Then you expect her to treat you civilly when you come pick up the kids? Don't you think that's kind of a totally unrealistic expectation? Especially since you and your daughter had issues already!

    I'm not saying you should give up your fight for visitation. But you need to approach that fight with eyes wide open. Accept that it is a fight, that, if you win, you will be forcing your daughter to do something she doesn't want to do. That she will be able to attempt to poison the kids minds against you.
    grandhaiku's Avatar
    grandhaiku Posts: 21, Reputation: 2
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    #16

    Apr 17, 2007, 06:47 PM
    Dear Grandma: Would it be possible to get your email address?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #17

    Apr 17, 2007, 07:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by grandhaiku
    Dear Grandma: Would it be possible to get your email address?
    The purpose of a site like AMHD is have public questions and answers so that not only can the asker benefit, but other people with similar problems may also benefit.Also, the drawback of taking help private is that the asker loses the advantage of peer review. If its private, other people can't correct mistakes or offer differing opinions. If you have some advice to give Grandma, I suggest you do it here.

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