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Grandparent visitation in Massachusetts

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Firm News |

If you are a grandparent in Massachusetts who wants to visit your grandchildren, you may wonder what rights you have under the law. In this blog post, we will explain the legal situation and the steps you need to take to petition for visitation rights.

Under Massachusetts law, grandparents have the right to petition the court for visitation if the parents are divorced, living apart with a court-ordered separation, or are deceased. Additionally, if the parents never married, are living apart, and there is a court judgment acknowledging parentage, grandparents can file for visitation rights .

However, having the right to petition does not mean that the court will automatically grant visitation. The court will consider the best interests of the child when making a decision on grandparent visitation. The court will also give deference to the parents’ wishes, unless the grandparents can show that denying visitation will cause significant harm to the child’s health, safety, or welfare. The Court will not grant the petition based on the desires of the grandparents. The Court will decide the petition on the needs of the child. As a general rule, grandparent visitation is only granted where there is a history of a significant relationship between child and grandparent. This usually occurs when the grandparent had physcial custody of the child for a period of time before the petition is filed.

Grandparent visitation is a complex and sensitive issue that involves balancing the rights and interests of different parties. If you are a grandparent who wants to visit your grandchildren, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on your options and help you navigate the legal process.

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