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What legal rights do grandparents have in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Child Custody

Grandparents often have deep emotional bonds with their grandchildren. They may also play an important role in ensuring their comfort and safety in their formative years. Parents starting new families often need a bit of financial and practical support from their parents. Grandparents can provide low-cost or free childcare support while their child tries to establish their career. Sometimes they provide a place for the family to live or regular financial support.

Most grandparents love their grandchildren deeply and want to ensure their comfort and happiness. They also want to actively protect the relationship they have with their grandchildren. In some cases, family disruptions and conflicts could interfere with the relationship that a grandparent has with their grandchildren. What rights do grandparents have in challenging family law situations in Louisiana?

Grandparents can sometimes ask for visitation

Disputes between parents and grandparents might lead to a disruption in the overall family dynamic. The parent of the grandchildren may decide to reduce or eliminate a grandparent’s access. In some cases, the law in Louisiana allows a grandparent to request visitation by taking the issue in front of the family courts.

Typically, grandparents have to prove that there have been unusual occurrences within the family. For example, the death of a parent could justify a request for grandparent visitation. So could a divorce or the termination of one parent’s rights. Grandparents can ask the courts to affirm their right to regularly see and spend time with their grandchildren.

Grandparents can foster or adopt their grandchildren

There are scenarios in which parents cannot meet the needs of their children anymore. Death, illness, incarceration and addiction are all issues that could leave children in need of adult support. In scenarios where children might enter the foster care system, Louisiana often seeks to place children with family members first.

Prioritizing pre-existing relationships can help reduce the disruption the children experience. Grandparents can request the placement of their grandchildren in their homes if the parents of the children are no longer able to meet their needs. In most cases, family support agencies in Louisiana do their best to keep displaced children with those who have a pre-existing relationship with them.

Grandparents who understand their rights are in a position to better support the grandchildren they love. Stepping up to preserve the relationship can potentially be beneficial for the grandparent and the grandchildren in a challenging family situation.