You are not on good terms with your ex, and now they are showing their resentment by hiding your kids away from your parents. You don’t want your parents to lose the relationship they have with your child because of your vengeful ex. However, there is something they can do about this. In Indiana, grandparents can ask the court for visitation rights, which they can enforce if your ex continues with their negative behavior.
The rights of grandparents
The law in Indiana recognizes the rights of grandparents after a divorce. After all, grandparents are important for children, and their involvement in a child’s life can have significant benefits. For this reason, grandparents in Indiana can ask for visitation rights if their in-laws prevent them from spending time with their grandchildren. A child’s grandparent may seek visitation rights only if:
- The child’s parent is deceased
- The parents have divorced
- The child was born out of wedlock
Grandparents of a child born out of wedlock can only seek visitation rights if the child’s father has established paternity in court.
The child’s best interests
The court will always put the parent’s needs and wishes first, so they may only give visitation rights to a grandparent if they can prove that the change would be in the child’s best interests. A grandparent must also show to the court that they have had, or attempted to have, meaningful contact with the child. Additionally, the court may interview the child to determine the relationship they have with the grandparents and ensure that the visitation rights would be beneficial and not harmful to them.
Filing a petition
To ask for visitation rights, your parents must file a petition in a circuit or superior court of the county where your child lives. Afterward, they will have to go to a hearing in which they will have to give the court supporting arguments to their petition. If the court finds that giving them visitation rights will benefit your child, they will issue an order granting them those rights.
Protecting the family
Your parents love your child, and they shouldn’t be kept away from them just because your ex doesn’t want them nearby. Fortunately, your parents have the right to fight back and ask the court to intervene. Your child deserves to bond with their grandparents, and an order granting visitation rights can make that possible.