Although grandparents will frequently play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren — often in the form of babysitting — they don't usually get custody of the grandchildren unless there's a difficult situation with the parents. If you're a grandparent, you'll ideally be able to spend time with your grandkids whenever you want. However, if there are certain issues that are preventing you from being together, you might wish to talk to a family attorney and fight for some visitation rights. Grandparents may be able to successfully get visitation rights in these scenarios.
Your Child Has Passed Away
If your child, the parent of your grandchildren, passes away, you may find that his or her ex-spouse isn't as open to you spending time with your grandchildren. After a contentious divorce, your child may have been the parent who was pushing for your involvement in the children's lives. However, with your child no longer in the picture, and his or her ex perhaps wanting to move on with his or her life, the time that you spend with your grandchildren may become sporadic. Petitioning the court for visitation rights can be an effective way to still maintain a relationship.
Your Child Is Incarcerated
In a similar scenario, it's possible that your child could be incarcerated, and this could prevent you from spending time with your grandchildren. You likely saw your grandkids when your child had custody of them, but now that his or her ex has full custody as a result of your child's legal situation, the ex may not want you to see the grandkids. This is another time to make a legal claim for visitation rights, perhaps until your child is released from custody.
Your Child Has Moved Away
It's possible that your child — especially if he or she didn't have custody of the children — has decided to move to a different state or a different country in the hopes of starting a new life. You might continue to live in the city in which your grandchildren reside, and want to have an active role in their lives. This may be more difficult with your child's ex-spouse having full custody and perhaps not wanting to be involved with your side of the family. In each of these situations, a family attorney can evaluate your reasons for wanting visitation and put together a case to present in court for you.