Grandparents can have a significant, positive influence in the lives of their grandchildren. In some situations, grandparents in Utah may want to formally pursue visitation rights through the court system.
Generally, parents have a right to exercise full decision-making authority for their children. This includes decisions about their care, supervision, upbringing, and education. Parents also decide what level of involvement and interaction the grandparents can have with the children.
Visitation rights for grandparents in Utah
Grandparents have a right to petition the court for visitation with the grandchild. The court may grant grandparent visitation rights if the grandparent can demonstrate that they are the child’s primary caregiver, and the loss of that relationship would cause substantial harm to the child.
The court may also grant visitation where the grandparent can show both parents are unfit, incompetent, or act in a way that could harm the child.
The best interest of the child
When deciding whether grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest, the court will take several factors into consideration. These include the child’s needs, the safety and welfare of the child, the wishes of the child (if they are old enough to decide), evidence of abuse or neglect by the child’s parents, and the child’s adjustment to their school and community.
Also, if a parent does not comply with the court’s visitation order, the grandparent can petition the court to remedy the situation. If a grandparent would like assistance to petition the court for visitation, help is available.