For many tight-knit families, grandparents play an important role in their
grandchildren's lives. When parents divorce, however, sometimes grandparents
can get the short end of the stick. Fortunately, there are laws that protect
grandparents from being separated from their grandchildren in the event
of divorce or separation in the family.
In Oregon, a grandparent can petition for an order establishing visitation
rights. In many divorce cases, this is not necessary – both parents
remain committed to allowing both sets of grandparents to visit their
grandchildren. In some cases, obtaining a legal visitation order is necessary
to ensure this happens.
In order for the court to grant a grandparent visitation rights, the grandparent
- An established “ongoing personal relationship” with the child;
- That the grandparent seeking visitation has provided evidence sufficient
to prove that the legal parent or parents were not acting in the child’s
best interests by deciding to prevent or limit the grandparent’s
visitation with the child; and
- That it is in the child’s best interests for the grandparent to have
visitation with the child.
Grandparents deserve the opportunity to get to know and establish relationships
with their grandchildren. If this has become a problem for you, you may
have the ability to petition with the family court. You can do this either
during the divorce proceedings, during separation proceedings, or after
– if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
Sometimes grandparents may petition for legal custody over their grandchildren.
This can be difficult, but if you can show that the child's legal
parents are not acting in the child's best interest and that you have
established a "child-parent relationship" with your grandchild,
Oregon law allows you to ask the court for third party custody.
The Oregon family law attorneys at McKinley Irvin are committed to protecting
their clients' best interests. If you are a grandparent and have concerns
about the time you are allowed to spend with your grandchildren, we invite
you to contact us to schedule a consultation.