Grandparents are an integral part of a child’s life and development.
If your children cut off access to your grandchildren, you may have a legal avenue to secure visitation.
What are grandparents’ rights?
Grandparents’ rights are state-mandated laws governing a grandparent’s right to custody or visitation with their grandchildren.
Do grandparents have rights in Delaware?
Like most states, Delaware does have a grandparents’ rights law. A grandparent can present an argument to a Delaware family court requesting visitation with their grandchildren. However, they must prove that it would be in the child’s best interest and that the parent’s objection to grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interest.
What factors does the court consider when assessing the child’s best interests?
Some factors the court considers when assessing a visitation request are:
- If either grandparent has a criminal history
- Whether the child wants to visit
- Evidence of domestic violence
- The relationships the child has with the grandparents and parents
- The mental and physical health of both grandparents
- The physical and emotional needs of the child
Judges have a significant amount of discretion when reviewing these cases.
When can grandparents attempt to get custody?
Only when the court removes the child from both parents’ custody can a grandparent seek custody. Additionally, adoption must not be possible. If the child already spent at least six months under the grandparents’ guardianship, a Delaware judge may award them custody.
As with all custody agreements, the court’s standard for any decision is what suits the child’s best interests.