June 20, 2021

What Rights Do Grandparents Have In Oklahoma?

In their grandchildren’s lives Grandparents play a significant role. If parents suffer any disability or suffer from some impediment that interferes with their ability to care for their little kid, the grandparents usually take the responsibility of taking care of them.

Sometimes parents and grandparents disagree with each other in terms of necessity, nature, or scope of involvement that the grandparents should have in the lives of their grandchildren. Also, when there is a divorce or paternity action between the parents, there is a need for grandparents and third parties to get involved in the case of children.

Hence, there is a constant need for grandparents’ rights in which their visitation rights come first. Everyone admits to the attachment of grandparents with their grandchildren. In the state of Oklahoma, only limited consideration is given to the statutory rights of grandparents regarding custody and visitation. The standards of the court are much higher in Oklahoma when a grandparent asks for any separate visitation rights. Here we will know that, what rights do grandparents have in Oklahoma ?

Grandparent Rights in Oklahoma Explained

The laws regarding the rights of grandparents in Oklahoma usually attempt to balance the important decision-making rights of parents and the requirements and best interests of their grandchildren. The Supreme Court in the US noticed the rights of grandparents in Oklahoma in Troxel v Granville, 530 United States 57 in 2000.

Oklahoma law ensures the provision of grandparent involvement and rights in grandchildren’s lives in special circumstances. Whenever there is a disagreement between the parents and grandparents, a trial judge in the court decides the extent of involvement a grandparent should have in the lives of the kids. If there is an issue or dispute regarding the matter, there is always a need for a trial lawyer or law firm to resolve the case.

Many law firms and trial lawyers have experience of representing grandparents at trials in such cases. Protective orders, grandchildren guardianship, habeas corpus proceedings, visitation rights for children, and juvenile deprived actions are all examples of grandparent rights in Oklahoma.

  • When can Grandparents have Visitation Rights?

The law in Oklahoma generally favors parents making decisions about their children. Parents are the guardians of their children, deciding with whom children meet. Hence, grandparents require permission from parents to visit their grandchildren. There are three specific criteria in the courts of Oklahoma to grant grandparents’ visitation rights, which include the following 

  • Absence of intact nuclear family

If a grandchild does not have an intact nuclear family, the grandparents could have the visitation right. The intact nuclear family is the one in which kids have married parents living together and both of the parents refuse the grandparents’ visitation to their child.

If parents’ divorce, decide on separate maintenance, or become annulled, the intact family may be shattered. Also, if one of the parents dies, the intact family is shattered, and the grandparent can file a petition for visitation rights. Moreover, if a child is living with anyone else except parents, the intact family is considered as disrupted.

  • Parents potentially harm the child or the parents are unfit for the child

If the parents have a history of violent behavior, chemical/alcohol dependency, emotional and mental illness, or failure of child care, they might be considered as unfit by the Oklahoma court. A grandparent could provide convincing evidence of parents being unfit for a child to have a visitation right. Also, there are certain factors when children have a better interest in grandparent visitation that is given below.

What are Some Factors Used in Determining the Best Interests of the Child in Grandparent Visitation Cases?

  • The age and reasonable preference of the child are considered foremost in granting visitation rights to grandparents.
  • The efforts and motivation that a grandparent puts into maintaining a relationship with their grandchild are judged by law courts.
  • The physical and mental health of all parents, children, and grandparents is analyzed before deciding to grant visitation rights to grandparents.
  • The nature of the relationship between grandparent and child is also the main factor in this case.
  • The judges also look towards the stability and nature of the home and the family of the child.
  • The terms of visitation arrangements that are requested by grandparents are also analyzed to test the extent of disruption a visitation might cause.
  • The length, quality, and intimacy, love, affection, and emotions of the preexisting child-grandparent relationship is also a major factor in granting visitation rights.

Regarding Grandparent Rights in Oklahoma, what should you do?

If you are a grandparent and seeking court-ordered visitation rights, you must file a petition in state district court. The petition must be a verified one. If any other case regarding the child is in the process by a court, the visitation petition should be filled in the same court.

But if there is no prior case of the child, the petition is filled in the country where the child lives. The grandparents willing to fill in the petition should consult an attorney before filling it.

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