Context Matters When Seeking Grandparent Visitation
Video Transcribed: Hi, I’m Oklahoma Grandparents Rights Attorney, Justin Mosteller, the first and most common form of grandparent rights is grandparent visitation.
Now, in other videos, you may have heard me say the requirements, but I’m going to go through them again today because they really are important to remember. If you are seeking grandparent visitation, first of all, the context matters.
The nuclear family has to be absolved. That means that the mother and father, the biological mother and father of the child have to be divorced or have to have been … or a death. There has to be, or rights terminated. Any situation where the nuclear bonds of the family no longer exist.
If you’re dealing with parents that are living in a marriage, and they have agreed that you should not have visitation with the child, that’s really an impossibility to then get a grandparent visitation right. The constitution and the laws of the state of Oklahoma basically give all the discretion to a parent in terms of who a child will associate with and spend their time with.
But if you can show that the nuclear family has been disrupted, then you come to the second requirement, which is either showing that a parent is unfit in some way or that a pre-existing strong and continuous relationship between the grandparent and grandchild exists, and that it’s not that’s in the best interest of the grandchild for that relationship to continue. And the parent is acting contrary to the best interest of the child in denying that visitation.
If you can demonstrate those two factors, then you are eligible for a grandparent visitation plan. Now I am always asked by clients, what is a reasonable visitation plan? And I can tell you that typically that looks like one weekend a month.
You’re absolutely not going to achieve priority with a parent. In the context of a divorce, it’s very common to see one parent receiving every other weekend. That’s really not a realistic possibility for a grandparent unless there are very specific circumstances.
Generally speaking, a court will award one weekend a month with rotating holidays. That’s a typical visitation plan. And it also depends on how close you live. The closer you are to the parents and the grandchildren, the more possible time you can get. It’s just as a function of geography.
And if you live out of state or far away, it becomes less likely that you’ll get even one weekend a month. In those situations, maybe a week out of the summer is something that you can expect. If you have any more questions, feel free to seek counsel from our office to speak with a Grandparents Rights Attorney in Oklahoma, we’d be happy to help.