Grandparent Visitation Rights Attorneys
When parents separate, unfortunately, grandparents sometimes get shut out of their grandchildren’s lives. Sometimes the custodial parent blocks contact with the grandparents out of fear. Sometimes the custodial parent has concerns about the grandparents siding with the other parent.
Oregon allows grandparents to pursue court-ordered visitation under certain circumstances. You have to show:
- An ongoing relationship with the child for at least a year, with regular contact.
- Continuing contact is in the best interest of the child.
- By denying contact, the custodial parent is not acting in the child’s best interest.
Proving what is best for the child can be difficult. Acting quickly and hiring an attorney frequently are critical.
Raising Your Grandchildren
If you have been raising grandchildren, you may need to consider additional legal steps to continue their stability. A power of attorney for child care can enable you to deal with their school, daycare, and medical providers. This power of attorney allows you to act only when the custodial parent is absent. If you have concerns about the parents’ ability to safely care for the children due to substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health problems, or other issues, you may need to file for guardianship or “third-party custody.”
Child Welfare Involvement
If the grandchildren are in the custody of a state child protection agency, being able to raise them becomes more complicated. The child protection agency must approve you as a “substitute care provider.” You have to follow extra rules since you are considered a foster parent, even though you also are a relative. If you live out of state, the approval process takes longer, and the child protection agency might want to keep the children close to the parents so they at least can have visits while the parents try to improve their living circumstances.
You have the right to get notice of and attend court hearings. You have the right to have your home considered as a place for the children to live. You may be able to get additional information about the case if you file to “intervene” in the case or for rights of “limited participation.”
If you have any criminal convictions, no matter how old, you should first see a lawyer before approaching the child protection agency for a background check and consideration as a “substitute care provider.” Sometimes a conviction that otherwise would bar you from being considered can be expunged.
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