Can grandparents get visitation rights in Tulsa? Sometimes.
In most situations, Oklahoma is one of the states considered the most unfriendly to grandparents regarding their grandchildren. The reason why Oklahoma appears tough on third parties in a child’s life is that the state maintains the right parents have to control, care for, and have custody of their offspring.
Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 109.4 states that under no circumstances shall grandparents win visitation rights if the nuclear family of the grandchild is intact and both parents of the child agree on their child not seeing the grandparents.
What About Step-Grandparents’ Visitation Rights?
It is even more difficult for a step-grandparent to win visitation rights — unless they can prove that the parent of the grandchild is unfit.
However, if you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights, do not throw in the towel just yet. Every case is different, and facts are crucial to the outcome. Talk to a Tulsa grandparents’ visitation rights lawyer. He or she will advise you on the best course of action.
A grandparents’ visitation rights attorney will assemble the facts specific to your case and present them in court in such a way that you have a chance to be heard.
For instance, did you know that you may not have to petition a court for visitation rights if:
- your child has had a divorce,
- they are already suing for custody of the child,
- and they are not opposed to you seeing the grandchild?
When your child presents evidence for a custody case, they should also show evidence in your favor as to why you should have visitation rights as well as let you testify regarding the child custody case.
If one parent dies and the grandchild is adopted by the new spouse of his or her living parent, grandparents may not have their visitation rights terminated unless it really is in the best interests of the child. They will also have a chance to appear in court.
When Can Grandparents Get Visitation Rights in Tulsa?
To win grandparents’ visitation rights in Oklahoma, you must prove three things under Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 109.4.
- The child’s best interests will be infringed upon if their grandparent is denied visitation rights.
- The grandchild’s parent is not fit; if the parent is fit, the grandparent must prove that the child will suffer if they are not granted visitation with the grandparent.
- The nuclear family of the grandchild has been disrupted.
These three-pronged requirements set by Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 109.4 must all be proven to win grandparents’ visitation rights.
Determining what is in the best interests of the child is the most difficult of the three requirements. Talking to a grandparents’ visitation rights attorney in Tulsa is the best course of action, as he or she is in the best position to evaluate the challenges of your case.
How Does the Court Determine the Best Interests of a Grandchild?
Generally, the court will consider the following in determining the best interests of the child.
- If the child and grandparent have had a relationship, and of what kind,
- If the child wants to have a relationship with the grandparent, in the case of older children.
- If the grandparent encourages the child to have a healthy relationship with his or her parents.
- The type of relationship that already exists between the child and parent(s).
- What motivates the grandparent to desire visitation rights.
- What drives the parent(s) to deny the grandparent visitation rights.
- The mental and physical health as well as the moral suitability of the grandparent, parents, and the grandchild.
- If the family unit and environment the child lives in is stable, and the kind of people who visit or live at the family home and interact with the child.
- The visitation time that the grandparent is requesting and the impact it will have on the child’s activities.
- In cases where both parents are deceased, the need to maintain an already existing relationship between grandchild and grandparent.
What About Possibly Unfit Parents?
By far, the easiest thing to prove of the three-pronged requirements is when a family has been disrupted.
Oklahoma law describes specific circumstances that comprise a disruption in a grandchild’s nuclear family. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 109.4
Such instances include the following:
- When there is a divorce, annulment, or separate maintenance action between the parents of the grandchild.
- Death of one of the grandchild’s parents.
- One parent of the grandchild has deserted the other.
- One parent is incarcerated, particularly for a felony.
- When the grandparent has ever had custody of the child, and there has been an ongoing, healthy relationship with the grandchild which is now being restricted.
- The child has been removed from the family home, and custody of the grandchild is with a third party.
- When the parental rights of one or both parents have been terminated, and the grandparent has a strong bond and ongoing relationship with the grandchild.
Consultation With a Tulsa Grandparents’ Visitation Rights Attorney
Are you bothered about losing all visitation rights to your grandchildren? Talk to a grandparents’ visitation lawyer in Tulsa today. A grandparents rights lawyer can explain what needs to be done.
For a confidential, no-obligation consultation, call our lawyer at (918) 994-1600 or click here to set up a consultation using our online request form.