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Visitation with grandchildren and rights after child's divorce

Being directly involved in the upbringing of a grandchild often brings joy and purpose to the grandparent-grandchild relationship. While in some instances grandparents in New Mexico and elsewhere could be significantly involved in the life and upbringing of a grandchild, others involve fewer interactions due to distances created by living situations. Additionally, constraints on the grandparent-grandchild relationship could be due to other factors, such as the divorce of the parents of the grandchildren.

Whether divorce causes a parent to move further away or causes them to have emotional detachment with an ex-spouse's family, it is important to note how a lessened relationship with a grandparent could directly affect the child and the grandparents. Moreover, grandparents' rights are available to grandparents who seek to invoke visitation rights.

State legislatures and state statutes recognize the visitation of grandchildren and other rights of grandparents. While the ability for a grandparent to invoke such rights is dependent on the situation, in most cases the best interests of the child will establish whether a court-mandated visitation order is required.

The relationship prior to the dissolution of the parents' marriage will often help courts determine the best interests of the child. Additionally, the strength of the relationship and physical distance between the child and the grandparent will play a major role in the decision made by the court. Lastly, depending on the age of the child, the child's wishes regarding interactions and a relationship with the grandparents could determine how a court will rule in the matter.

Grandparents dealing with grandparents' rights or visitation issues should understand the rights and options afforded to them. This could help them take timely action. Additionally, this could help the grandparent meet the needs, wishes and best interests of a grandchild.

Source:, "Your Guide to Grandparent Rights," accessed Aug. 17, 2015

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