Can Massachusetts grandparents ever get visitation rights?

When parents and their minor children get into arguments, those young people often turn to supportive adults to get through their tough family problems. Often, those supportive adults are the kids’ grandparents. When a family is going through a significant upheaval from divorce, a grandparent can be a stable force in a child’s otherwise uncertain life.

In some cases, grandparents in Massachusetts can get visitation with their grandkids when the parents are going through divorce or other legal separations. Generally, the parents of the children may not be living together at the time the grandparent petitions for visitation; if they are, a grandparent would not be granted visitation rights. A court only permits a grandparent to have visitation with their grandchild if it determines that the visitation would serve the child’s best interests and the family’s structure met the conditions of the Massachusetts General Laws under which grandparent visitation is addressed.

Grandparent visitation will not be authorized in certain situations. If, for example, a child is adopted out of the family, the biological grandparents of the child may not be given visitation rights if the child’s parent has terminated their parental rights. Family law attorneys can provide their clients with specific information about grandparents’ rights and how to approach a petition to seek visitation with their grandchildren.

As with many other issues that arise under matters of child custody and visitation, grandparents’ rights are often only addressed with regard to what serves the best interests of a child. As every family situation is different, readers of this Suffolk County family law blog should not rely on this post as legal advice. Individuals with more questions about this topic may choose to seek counsel to better understand their particular legal needs.

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