Grandparents Rights and Grandparent Visitation Rights
The experts report on the state of grandparent rights in the U.S. today
by John Bringardner
Richard Kent, a family lawyer at Fairfield, Conn.-based Meyers Breiner & Kent, frequently goes to courtroom battle for grandparents seeking visitation with, or custody of, grandchildren.
"The state of grandparents' rights is terrible," says Kent. Under the current laws, if a couple's adult daughter dies, he says, those grandparents could be denied visitation with their grandchild by the child's father.
Even if they had what most people would consider a classic grandparent-grandchild relationship and, let's say, saw their grandchild every Sunday afternoon. But in the eyes of Connecticut law, says Kent, unless grandparents have functioned as de facto parents — meaning they lived with their grandchildren or took care of them while the parents were at work — they are treated no differently than strangers.