Securing Your Place in Your Grandchild’s Life
Grandparents are some of many adults that children look up to for wisdom, love, and guidance as they grow. While their place is sometimes protected by a grandchild’s parents, drastic life changes – such as separation, divorce, or death of the parents – could threaten a grandparent’s place in their grandchild’s life. Luckily, should this ever happen, grandparents have a right to take action and protect their relationship with their grandchildren.
When Can a Grandparent Ask for Visitation?
Iowa maintains strict guidelines for when a grandparent may request visitation. A grandparent or great-grandparent can take the matter to court if:
- - The grandparent’s child, who is the parent of the grandchild, is dead
- - The grandchild is in foster care
- - A stepparent adopted the grandchild
- - The grandchild was born out of wedlock and is in the custody of the parent who is unrelated to the grandparent
While courts typically favor parents, assuming that they have their child’s best interests in mind, grandparents could make a case to fight for visitation rights. To accomplish this, they will be tasked with proving that:
- - Visitation is in the best interest of the child
- - There is an existing relationship between the child and the grandparent
- - The parent is unfit to make the decision
We will help you compile evidence establishing your preexisting relationship with your grandchild by showing proof of you either financially supporting your grandchild or living with them for at least six months. Alternatively, we could show that you had frequent meetings with your grandchild over the course of at least one year.
Typically, in grandparent visitation cases, it is the parents who are acting as a roadblock and preventing your visits with your grandchild. As such, we need to show that the parents have impaired judgement to render a reevaluation of your visitation privileges necessary. We could show this through:
- - A diagnosis of a mental illness
- - A history of drug abuse
- - Evidence of child abuse or neglect
- - The parent’s inability to provide for the child’s best interest
By proving any of the above, we may be able to bypass the surviving parent’s objection.
To start the process, we will submit a petition in the district court of the county where your grandchild lives. From there, our attorneys will be by your side at every step of the process to secure your spot in your grandchild’s life. Contact us today online or at (515) 200-7571 to get started.