Grandparents Visitation Rights in Utah | Law Office of Mel A. Cook
Choose to favor grandparents visitation rights in Utah. Melvin A. Cook can provide you that insightful legal counsel you are looking for.
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Grandparents Visitation Rights in Utah

by Melvin Cook

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Children are always looking forward to spending time with family. Whether parents, siblings, cousins or grandparents, they are all important to them, specially grandparents, as in most cases they provide a tremendous amount of emotional support and care for their grandchildren. But what happens when a divorce occurs? Are grandparents able to see their grandchildren as much? The laws of divorce are based on the state you live in. If you have been prevented from visiting your grandchild, a Salt Lake City divorce attorney can help you claim your rights.

Utah law

Although the law in the state defends the parents’ decision to prevent grandparents from visiting their grandchildren, a grandparent can prove that the visitation benefits the child. Some of the things the judge will consider when making those decisions include:

  • The grandparent is able and the proper person to visit the grandchild.
  • The parent of the child has denied visitation between grandparent and child.
  • The grandchild is inadequate or unfit.
  • The grandparent has been the child’s main caregiver.
  • The parent died or became non-custodial after the separation or divorce.
  • The child’ parents have been absent for quite a while.

Although the court may choose to favor grandparents’ visitation rights, these can not infringe on parents’ basic rights to raise their children. In other words, parents’ rights always come first.

When grandparents obtain child custody

The constitution protects parents’ rights to raise their children. However, there are cases when the parent is unfit and the parental rights have been terminated. Utah laws allow a third party, such as a grandparent, to obtain child custody when:

  • The grandparent is willing to take the role and obligations of the parents.
  • The grandparent and child have a very close parent-child relationship.
  • The grandparent has not only supported the child emotionally but also financially.
  • The grandparent continuing his or her relationship with the child serves the grandchild’s best interests.
  • The grandchild can be harmed when losing this important relationship with the grandparent.
  • The grandchild’s parents have either abused, neglected, or being absent from the child’s life.

In cases of abandonment, neglect or child abuse, the grandparents need to be able to prove it otherwise the court will deny custody. The parents being temporarily absent is not enough prove to obtain the custody of the grandchild. The parent of the child has to be missing from the picture or unfit in order for the court to rule in the grandparent’s favor.

Biological grandparents’ visitation rights with adopted grandchildren

Unfortunately, adoption stops all rights from the biological line. Similarly, grandparents are also cut off from visiting their biological grandchildren. Some exceptions may apply when the child was adopted by either a stepparent or biological relative. Grandparents have visitation rights in Utah but they are always secondary to parental rights. In some cases the grandparent can visit the child as long as it works on the child’s best interest and it doesn’t interfere with parent’s rights.

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced Salt Lake city divorce attorney, Melvin A. Cook can provide you that insightful legal counsel you are looking for. He has provided vigorous and proficient legal representation in Salt Lake City for nearly two decades. Call today and schedule your initial consultation.

Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Rights

When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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