Grandparents in Vermont may request visitation with a grandchild if a parent is deceased, physically or mentally incapable of making a decision or has abandoned the child. As in all fifty states, the court must find that visitation would be in the best interests of the child. Factors to be considered when determining best interests include the following:
- The emotional ties between grandparent and grandchild
- the ability of the grandparent to provide love, affection and guidance
- The nature of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and the desirability of maintaining it
- The moral fitness of the parties
- The mental and physical health of the parties
- the "reasonable preference" of the child, when the child is old enough to express a preference
- The willingness of the grandparent to encourage and facilitate a close relationship between the child and the other parties
- Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a "just determination" regarding visitation.
Visitation rights expire upon the adoption of the grandchild, unless the adopting party is a stepparent, grandparent or other relative.
Go back to grandparents rights by state.