The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
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Who gets to see the grandkids?

Most grandparents want to be an active part of their grandchildren's lives. And most grandkids also want and benefit from having a relationship with their grandparents.

But what does Louisiana law say about this relationship? Does the law require parents to let grandparents see their grandkids?

The short answer is no, it does not. The longer answer is yes, sometimes it does.

Which statutes address this issue?

There are three main statutes in Louisiana that touch on grandparents' rights, they are:

  • Article 136 of the Civil Code
  • Revised Statute 9:344
  • Children's Code, Article 1264

Article 136 of the Civil Code states that, "A grandparent may be granted reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child..." The court takes into consideration six factors here:

  1. How long a relationship between a grandparent and grandchild has existed
  2. The quality of that relationship
  3. How the child would benefit from the grandparent's visitation
  4. What the child wants if the child is old enough to voice and opinion
  5. Both the physical and mental capabilities of the grandchild and grandparent
  6. If the grandparent is willing to promote the parent-child relationship or not

Revised Statute 9:344 asserts that if the "parents of a minor child or children of the marriage are legally separated or living apart for a period of six months, the grandparents or siblings of the child or children may have reasonable visitation rights to the child or children during their minority..." Again, this is if the court determines that this type of arrangement is in the best interest of the child. This may apply in cases where the child of the grandparent (the parent) dies, is in prison, or is legally unable to parent. Other "extraordinary circumstances" (see below) may also apply here.

Children's Code, Article 1264 states, "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the natural parents of a deceased party to a marriage dissolved by death whose child is thereafter adopted, and the parents of a party who has forfeited the right to object to the adoption of his child pursuant to Article 1245 may have limited visitation rights to the minor child so adopted." Under this code an adoption can terminate or limit a grandparent's right to see the grandchild. Visitation rights may remain if the parent who died was the child of the grandparent. This code may also come into play if the grandchild's parents have forfeited their right to object to the adoption.

If the parents of the grandchildren divorced or are separated for six months or longer a grandparent can ask for visitation and seek this through the court. If the parents are still married and there are extraordinary circumstances a grandparent can also seek visitation.

What are extraordinary circumstances?

"Extraordinary circumstances" include situations such as if:

  • One parent is in prison
  • One or both parents have serious addiction issues
  • One parent is declared legally incompetent
  • The grandchild has been put in foster care because of a parent's abuse or neglect

Grandparents do have rights for visitation of their grandchildren in many situations. Sometimes the guidance of an experienced legal professional can help clarify when and where certain statutes apply and the best course of action to take to get the results you are looking for.

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The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
123 Saint Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-424-7388
Fax: 225-334-7824
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