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Q What are grandparent rights?
A Recognition of grandparent rights is a fairly recent trend and a bit of a misnomer. Grandparent rights refer to the legal rights of grandparents to have access to their grandchildren, either through visitation or even custody in certain situations.
Q What circumstances can lead to grandparents seeking visitation or custody and what factors might the court consider?
A Maryland’s statutes contemplate “reasonable visitation” to a grandparent if it is in the child’s best interest. Grandparents may seek visitation or custody when the parents of their grandchildren are divorced or separated, one or both of the parents are deceased or when there is evidence of abuse or neglect. Some factors that are considered include the child’s physical and emotional health, safety and welfare; wishes of the parents, grandparents and the child, depending on maturity; as well as the relationship. Each case involving grandparents and visitation and custody is fact-specific and unique.
Q How can Stein Sperling help in the issue of grandparent rights?
A While always considering the best interests of the child, our experienced family law attorneys can help grandparents understand their legal rights and legal options. They assist in navigating the legal system and provide support throughout this emotionally challenging process. It is sometimes possible to reach a settlement outside of court that satisfies both the grandparents and the child’s parent(s). The family law attorneys at Stein Sperling can help negotiate a settlement agreement that protects the grandparents’ visitation rights.