Grandparent Visitation Rights by State, L-W
Louisiana Grandparents' Rights
"Extraordinary circumstances" must be present for grandparents to claim visitation in Louisiana.
Maine Grandparents' Rights
In the state of Maine, a complex set of statutes governs grandparents visitation rights, and case law further complicates the picture.
Maryland Grandparents' Rights
In Maryland standards for determining the best interest of the child are governed by case law rather than by statute.
Massachusetts Grandparents' Rights
Grandparents seeking visitation in Massachusetts must prove significant harm if contact is denied.
Michigan Grandparents Rights
In the state of Michigan, lengthy statutes were enacted in 2005 to bring their state law in compliance with Troxell v. Granville. The statutes spell out the requirements for grandparents to be awarded what the statutes call "grandparenting time."
Minnesota Grandparents Rights
In the state of Minnesota, the courts must consider the prior grandparent-grandchild relationship when considering visitation, as well as the effect of visitation upon the relationship between the parent and the child.
Mississippi Grandparents Rights
In the state of Mississippi, specific criteria govern grandparent visitation. Statutes govern petitions for visitation rights, and a court case sets out criteria for determining the best interest of the child.
Missouri Grandparents' Rights
Missouri's grandparent visitation statutes are narrowly constructed, which has helped them survive a constitutionality challenge.
Montana Grandparents Rights
In the state of Montana, any grandparent may file for visitation, but winning visitation becomes more complicated if a parent whose parental rights have not been terminated objects to the visitation. Then the grandparent may have to prove that the parent is unfit.
Nebraska Grandparents Rights
To win grandparent visitation in the state of Nebraska, grandparents must prove that a significant beneficial relationship exists or existed in the past. Grandparents may also have to prove that visitation will not harm the parent-child relationship.
Nevada Grandparents Rights
In the state of Nevada, grandparents may seek visitation if their child who is the parent of the grandchild is deceased or a non-custodial parent. State statute lists factors to be considered in determining the best interests of the child.
New Hampshire Grandparents Rights
In the state of New Hampshire both natural and adoptive grandparents may apply for visitation with grandchildren. New Hampshire lists in its statutes factors to be considered in determining the best interests of the child.
New Jersey Grandparents' Rights
The state of New Jersey requires that grandparents seeking visitation show harm if visitation is denied.
New Mexico Grandparents Rights
In the state of New Mexico grandparents can be awarded visitation in a number of different circumstances. Grandparents who have cared for grandchildren may receive special consideration.
New York Grandparents Rights
The state of New York provides for grandparents visitation rights in the case of a deceased parent or other broadly defined circumstances. Legal precedents, also known as case law, are also important in determining the rights of grandparents in New York State.
North Carolina Grandparents Rights
North Carolina makes it difficult for grandparents to win visitation with two unusual provisions.
North Dakota Grandparents Rights
The state of North Dakota provides for visitation by grandparents or great-grandparents if it does not interfere with the parent-child relationship. The court is directed to consider the amount of previous contact between grandparent and grandchild.
Ohio Grandparents Rights
The state of Ohio allows for grandparents and other interested parties to be granted visitation as part of proceedings for divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, annulment, or child support. Ohio statutes list factors that the court should consider when awarding visitation.
Oklahoma Grandparents' Rights
Grandparents in Oklahoma can petition for visitation, but not if grandchildren live in an intact family.
Oregon Grandparents' Rights
Oregon has no statute for grandparent visitation but allows for visitation by non-parents under certain circumstances.
Pennsylvania Grandparents' Rights
The state of Pennsylvania allows visitation if the parents of the grandchild are deceased, divorced or separated, or if the child resided with the grandparent for twelve months or more.
Rhode Island Grandparents Rights
The state of Rhode Island has several conditions for granting grandparent visitation. Rhode Island statutes mandate that a grandparent must have attempted visitation repeatedly with no success before filing for visitation rights, that this failure must be due to parental invention and that visitation is impossible without court intervention.
South Carolina Grandparents' Rights
South Carolina statutes, amended in 2010, present serious obstacles to grandparents seeking visitation.
South Dakota Grandparents Rights
The circuit court of the state of South Dakota can award grandparent visitation with or without a petition by the grandparent. The statutes require findings that a parent has denied visitation and that visitation will not significantly interfere with the parent-child relationship.
Tennessee Grandparents' Rights
Qualifying for grandparent visitation in Tennessee requires a multi-step qualifying process.
Texas Grandparents' Rights
The state of Texas allows visitation rights to grandparents under certain circumstances. Generally grandparents need to be the parents of a parent who does not have actual or court-ordered access.
Utah Grandparents' Rights
In Utah grandparents seeking visitation must rebut the presumption that parents make decisions in the the best interest of their children.
Vermont Grandparents Rights
The state of Vermont provides for grandparent visitation if a parent is deceased, has abandoned a child or is physically or mentally incapable of making decisions about the child. Vermont statutes also list guidelines for determining the best interests of the child.
Virginia Grandparents Rights
The state of Virginia presents a challenge to grandparents as the topic of visitation is addressed along with custody in a lengthy set of statutes. In addition, grandparents in Virginia do not have their own statutes but are grouped with stepparents, blood relatives and other "persons of legitimate interest."
Washington Grandparents' Rights
Washington State has played a key role in the struggle for grandparents' visitation rights.
West Virginia Grandparents' Rights
West Virginia statutes describe specific situations in which grandparent visitation can be awarded.
Wisconsin Grandparents Rights
The state of Wisconsin provides for grandparent visitation in three separate statutes, as well as addressing the topic in case law. The complexity of this approach means that grandparents seeking visitation will almost certainly require legal advice before proceeding.
Wyoming Grandparents Rights
The state of Wyoming has two statutes which could pertain to grandparents visitation rights, one that specifies grandparents and one that specifies caregivers, which will include some grandparents. Under both statutes, grandparents must prove that visitation is in the child's best interest and will not impair the rights of the parents.