The current standard that Utah courts are required to follow when it comes to the fate of children in a divorce or separation is what is in the best interests of the children. The basic assumption is that the being with a parent fulfills that standard. However, there are instances where the children would be better off with their grandparents, and the law does allow for these relatives to petition the court for child custody or visitation.
It can be a challenge to overcome the assumption that the best interests of the children would be served by a parent receiving custody. However, Utah courts might consider granting a grandparent custody of the children under certain circumstances. If it can be proved through appropriate evidence that one or both parents are somehow unfit or not competent to care for the children, a grandparent might be awarded custody or visitation.
The court could also consider this alternative custody arrangement if one parent is absent for some reason or has passed away. If you have provided substantial care to the children, that could also be taken into consideration. In some cases, parents will deny grandparents access to the children. If any of these circumstances exist, you should know that there have legal rights and options could be available to you.
Once you make the decision to embark on this journey, it would be beneficial to enlist the services of an attorney who understands the challenges you are facing. If you believe that your grandchildren’s best interests would be served by allowing you child custody or visitation, your attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence for the court to consider, will guide you through the process and help prepare you for court appearances. The future and well-being of your grandchildren is too important to attempt to go through this process alone.