Grandparent Visitation

GRANDPARENT VISITATION.  In some cases, grandparents in Indiana can get a Court Order allowing them specific rights to see and spend time with their grandchildren.  Indiana Code 31-17-5-1 specifically says that grandparents can seek their own visitation rights if:
1.  The child’s parent is deceased;
2.  The child’s parents were divorced in Indiana; or
3.  The child was born out of wedlock.  However if a child was born out of wedlock, a paternal grandparent may only seek rights under this statute if the child’s father has established paternity of the child.
In every case where a grandparent seeks visitation, the Court also has to hold a hearing and determine if that visitation is in the child’s best interests.  As part of that decision, the Court must always consider the wishes of a “fit parent”.  
Grandparents should know that their rights to visit with the child will not be equal to a parent’s right to parenting time, and the Court will consider a schedule that makes the most sense for the child in light of the child’s other activities and the parenting rights that may already been in place for both of the child’s parents.  If grandparents are given visitation rights in the case, these may stay in place even if there is later an adoption of the child.