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Do Indiana grandparents have visitation rights?

You may feel proud and excited when you become a grandparent. However, you find it difficult to maintain a relationship with your grandchild if acrimoniousness exists between the child’s parents. If you are not seeing your Indiana grandson or granddaughter as much as you might like, you may have questions about whether you have visitation rights to the child in question.

According to IN.gov, you may be able to seek visitation rights to your grandchild if certain specific conditions exist.

When you may pursue grandparent visitation rights

You may be able to get legal visitation rights to your grandchild if the child’s parent has died, or if the parents of the grandchild have divorced. You may also be able to do so if your son or daughter and his or her partner had the grandchild out of wedlock. However, if you are a paternal grandparent, your son must first establish paternity before you may seek visitation rights.

When visitation is in a child’s best interests

Another factor that determines whether you may secure visitation rights over your grandson or granddaughter is whether the court considers it to be in your grandchild’s best interests. In assessing this, the state may consider whether you already have an established relationship with your grandchild. State courts may also give weight to the wishes of the child’s parents and whether the child’s parents have allowed visits with you in the past before making visitation-related determinations.

If you want visits with your grandchild, try talking to the child’s parents first. If this fails to produce the outcome you desire and your situation meets the criteria needed for grandparent visitation, the next step might involve filing a petition in court.