Oklahoma City Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

A child’s strong, vibrant relationship with their grandparents will be valuable for their development. However, personal conflict or different views on parenting could lead a child’s parents to refuse visitation for the grandparents.

Unlike many other jurisdictions, the courts in Oklahoma City recognize limited visitation rights for grandparents. There are notable exceptions to be aware of, and a seasoned family lawyer from The Smith Firm could provide insight into how the law works. Let an Oklahoma City grandparents’ rights lawyer assist you with this important process.

Is Visitation in the Child’s Best Interests?

The primary question in these cases is: what is best when it comes to the minor? This is the standard in all cases involving custody rights.

There are two primary approaches that a grandparent can take in this scenario. First, it is important to note there is a presumption that a parent is acting in the best interest of their child. A grandmother or grandfather must rebut this presumption by showing it is in the child’s best interest to have a strong and stable relationship with them. The second option is to establish that the parent is unfit.

Different factors are used to determine what is in a child’s best interest. These may include things like previous abuse, financial stability, and the opinion of the minor. An Oklahoma City lawyer works with grandparents to determine which factors will help their case the most.

Is the Nuclear Family Disrupted?

It is not enough to establish that building a relationship with the grandparents is what is best for a minor child. There must also be a disruption in the nuclear family for the court to award visitation. In other words, the court cannot award visitation in cases where the parents are married and live together with the child. Some examples of disruptions that could lead to a visitation award include the following:

  • Divorce or annulment of the parents’ marriage
  • Grandparent has previously held custody of the child
  • The child has been removed from the home
  • One or both parents have had their rights removed
  • A parent is incarcerated

One or more of these elements must be present for the court to agree to an order of visitation. Without it, a judge lacks the power to override the will of the parents.

The Petition Process

This process starts with a formal petition, which is a pleading that the grandparent files with the court to seek visitation rights. This petition lists facts about the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. It also explains why extending visitation rights would be in the child’s best interest.

Next, the court serves a notice of the hearing to all interested parties, including the child’s parents. The purpose of this step is to notify each of the interested parties of the time and place of the hearing.

During these hearings, it is crucial to have an Oklahoma City grandparents’ rights attorney present to advocate for the granting of visitation rights. An attorney could respectfully present evidence supporting the grandparents’ position while acknowledging and respecting rights of the parents.

Talk to an Oklahoma City Grandparents’ Rights Attorney Today

For many grandparents, the relationship with their grandchildren is one of the most important things in their lives. Developing these relationships is important, which is why many people seek court-ordered visitation.

Let an Oklahoma City grandparents’ rights lawyer advocate for you. Reach out to The Smith Firm right away for a confidential consultation.