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When Ohio Grandparents Must Fight for Visitation Rights

During and after the divorce process, parents in Ohio might notice a lot of changes when they compare their post-divorce life with their married life. In addition to changes occurring in the lives of the parents, children are also adjusting to a new routine. And in some cases, the complexities of the emotional process can impact people other than the spouses and their children. In some situations, grandparents are left out of the loop and may not see their grandchildren often, if at all.

When issues arise surrounding a grandparent's desire to see their grandchildren after the the child's parents split up, grandparents often wonder what legal options might be available. In fact, Ohio law provides important protections for grandparents' rights.

If a grandparent is unable to obtain visitation through direct negotiation with the parents of their grandchildren, they may be able to file a motion for court-ordered visitation. In deciding whether to grant the motion, the court considers a number of factors. Among them are the wishes of the parents and the relationship the grandparent had with the child before the divorce or other event that interfered with visitation. However, as in most custody and visitation issues, the court must make its final decision based on its determination of the best interests of the child.

The best interests of the child will ultimately help the court decide whether to award visitation. If circumstances have changed or the parties develop a need to change arrangements, the court will reassess the any existing visitation order and decide whether it still meets the best interests of the child.

Dealing with grandparents' rights issues can be difficult and emotional. Those who are dealing with this or other post-divorce issues should understand the options available to them as well as their legal rights. Experienced Ohio family law attorneys can help them take timely and appropriate action that serves the needs and interests of the children involved.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "At the Crossroads of Grandparent Visitation," Nov. 27, 2014

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