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Grandparents' Rights in Rhode Island

During custody battles and fierce divorces, the important grandparent-grandchild relationship is often overlooked. The bond between a grandparent and a child can be special and needs to be maintained. During a divorce or separation, a parent may deny visitation to a set of grandparents. Alternatively, if one parent passes away, the other parent may also deny visitation. Under these circumstances, a family law lawyer in Rhode Island can help the grandparents win visitation rights.

Rhode Island law states that grandparents can petition for visitation with their grandchildren in family court.  A court can help design an effective visitation plan that works for both the grandparents and the grandchild. To grant visitation, the court must find that:

  • Visitation is in the best interests of the grandchild
  • The petitioner or petitioners are fit to care for the child
  • The petitioner has repeatedly attempted and has been repeatedly denied visitation by either or both parents in the 90 days preceding the filing of the court petition
  • Court intervention is the only means by which the grandparents can visit their grandchild
  • The petitioner has presented convincing evidence to refute the parent’s denial of visitation

In cases where the parents are deceased or unfit to care for the child, a grandparent may petition for full or partial custody, or guardianship of the child. A grandparent may even be able to fully adopt the child. A Providence adoption attorney can thoroughly explain these options.

The goal of family court is to protect children’s welfare, safety and security. Kirshenbaum Law Associates helps grandparents achieve the visitation or custody rights that can ensure the child’s happiness and well-being.