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Do Ohio grandparents have visitation rights?

As an Ohio grandparent, you may wish to gain legal visitation with your grandchild for any number of reasons. Maybe the relationship between the child’s parents has soured, and you have fears about it impacting your relationship with your grandchild. Maybe your grandchild’s parents were never in a formal relationship at all, but you want to maintain ties to your grandchild. Regardless of your reasoning for wanting formal grandparent visitation, know that Ohio courts may grant it if your situation meets some specific criteria.

Per the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, grandparents can request visitation rights during or following an Ohio domestic relations proceeding. You may do so when your grandchild’s parents separate or divorce, when one of your grandchild’s parents passes away, or when your grandchild’s mother is an unmarried woman.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to award you legal visitation rights depends on whether the court thinks that maintaining an active relationship with you would be in your grandchild’s best interests. What, exactly, factors in when determining “best interests?” Courts may make any number of considerations, often factoring in the child’s parents’ opinions, the child’s age and his or her own wishes when making visitation decisions.

You can also expect the court to consider whether there is an existing relationship between you and your grandchild, your own physical and mental health, and the overall safety and wellbeing of your grandchild when issuing visitation rights.

While this information about the visitation rights of Ohio grandparents is educational, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

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