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Grandparents Rights?

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by Britthani, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Britthani

    Britthani Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have an 11month old son. My mother watch him for 3 months. In that time she bought nothing to really care for him, I provided diapers, formula, wipes and most clothes. In the 3months that she watched him he was overstimulated terribly. So bad that he would come home and take hours to calm down. After going back and forth with my mother I let her know that her watching him was not working for him or us and we where going to start maybe going to a daycare or find a nanny. We settled on a good family friend and he took to her very well. After many arguments with my mother she has recently informed me that she has rights as a grandparent and rights to my child and she can take me to court to get visitation. I am located in Arkansas. Is this correct?
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    She can file in court for visitation, but she will almost certainly lose. In general so long as the parents of the child are fit and have custody of their child they get to to determine with whom the child visits. If she files for visitation, see an attorney for help in defending against her petition. You need to make the right arguments to ensure she doesn't get visitation.
     
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  3. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Are you and the child's father married? If so, your mother can not sue for visitation. GPV is also a VERY EXPENSIVE law suit to bring....does you mom have lots and lots of spare cash...like 20 or 30+ grand?

    GPV is also not so that Gram's get the child everyday to babysit. It's intent is for grandparents that have an established relationship with the grandchild, but have had a falling out with their (GP) child, and are being denied visits. Or if a parent passes away and the surviving parent won't allow the grandparent, parents of the deceased , to have contact with the grandchild.

    Your mother is likely blowing hot air. Tell her suing the parents of her grandchild is an aggressive, combative move, that she will not win and she will be persona non grata there-after. ;)

    Keep in mind...GP's don't have "rights" they MIGHT have standing for visitation...but not rights.


    2010 Arkansas Code :: Title 9 - Family Law :: Subtitle 2 - Domestic Relations :: Chapter 13 - Child Custody and Visitation :: Subchapter 1 - General Provisions :: § 9-13-103 - Visitation rights of grandparents when the child is in the custody of a parent.
     
  4. Britthani

    Britthani Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you! That’s such a relief to hear. And yes me and the child father are happily married.
     
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  5. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Active Member

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    It depends.

    If you and Dad are married, grandma is incorrect.

    If you and Dad are not married, then under Arkansas law grandma might have a chance at some sort of visitation under some circumstances. The circumstances you have described so far indicate that she would not qualify for the sort of extended visitation she seems to believe that she deserves.

    (Stay happily married!)
     
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  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Then it appears your mother has no chance at all. Under Arkansas Code § 9-13-103 (Blue linked you the 2010 version of the Code, this link is for the 2018 Code) a grandparent has no standing to seek visitation where the parents of the child are married to each other. The grandparent may only seek visitation in the following circumstances:

    (1) The marital relationship between the parents of the child has been severed by death, divorce, or legal separation;
    (2) The child is illegitimate and the petitioner is a maternal grandparent of the illegitimate child; or
    (3) The child is illegitimate, the petitioner is a paternal grandparent of the illegitimate child, and paternity has been established by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    And even if one those circumstances exist to get the grandparent in the courthouse door, it's a very difficult thing for the grandparent to win, since the grandparent has to prove certain things and overcome a presumption in the law that the parent's decision on visitation is in the child's best interest.
     
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  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Then she has no standing to file suit. :)
     
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  8. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Thank you TC for posting an a current code. Google was not a very good friend to me today. :p
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    It's correct that she can take you and the child's other parent to court. Here's an article that does a good job at summarizing Arkansas law on the subject. Since you and the father are married, your mother cannot succeed.
     
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  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If grand-mom were to attempt this, it's possible that sanctions would be imposed.

    That means that grand-mom could be penalized for abuse of process. This may mean that she would have to pay reasonable attorney's fees for your defense of the matter, and may even end up with a further monetary penalty. This wouldn't be a matter of showing evidence that the court has to weigh - this would be a matter of her filing a completely frivolous lawsuit that she knows (or should know) has no chance of succeeding under state law.
     
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  11. Britthani

    Britthani Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. That article is very helpful. This is all so overwhelming. We’ve never had a close relationship and to try such to do or even say this in the manner that she has made it seem as though she would most definitely win if we go to court. But this is all very helpful!:)
     
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  12. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    People that are trying to threaten you so that they get their way, often do so in a very confident manner. Confidently tell her what the law is including the statute # and to go (fill in the blank). ;)
     
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  13. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    She can try but she won't get very far. She was basically a babysitter...and grandparents rights in any state I have read about usually applies to grandparents who had a consistent, positive relationship with the child and either their child who was the parent died or divorce and they didn't get to see them anymore.

    My ex MIL "threatened" me about grandparents rights and I laughed at her. Literally. I told her please waste your money and time to try it.
     

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