In Indiana, you may have a legal right to visitation as a grandparent. However, there are some important requirements, and you might have to petition the court.
All types of visitation have limits. Furthermore, the court will make decisions on these matters by placing the needs and the best interests of your grandchildren as its top priority.
A grandparent’s right to visitation
Assuming you have done nothing that the court would view as threatening to your grandchild’s safety, you would probably be able to seek visitation rights under any of three conditions:
- Your grandchild was born out of wedlock,
- Indiana courts dissolved your grandchild’s parents’ marriage or
- The parent (your son or daughter) passed away
For example, if the mother of your grandchild had a divorce with your son in Indiana, you could petition the court to award visitation rights to you. The court would decide if it would be in the best interest of your grandchild to assign this type of visitation time to you, and to what extent.
An established legal relationship
Your case could become more complicated if your child did not establish a paternity relationship with your grandchild. While there are options to remedy this situation in some cases, any right you have as a grandparent would very likely depend on the legal parental status of your child.
In most cases of married couples, the husband is the presumed father of any children of the marriage. However, courts do not typically apply the same presumption to fathers of children born outside of a marriage. It is somewhat complicated, but your son may not have automatically become the legal father of his child.
As you can see, you may have the option to petition the court for visitation as a grandparent. However, the application of this privilege is sometimes complicated.