When you're a grandparent, your grandchildren hold a special place in your heart. You and your grandchildren develop a special bond, especially when you're able to visit on a regular basis. When someone severs that bond, and prevents you from seeing your grandchildren, it doesn't just hurt you; it hurts your grandchildren too. There was a time when all a grandparent could do was accept that they were no longer allowed to see their grandchildren.
However, most states now have laws that allow grandparents to sue for their rights to visit with their grandchildren. The courts have recognized how important it is for children to have a loving relationship with their grandparents. If you've recently been denied visitation with your grandchildren, you need to take matters into your own hands. Here are three steps you should take to regain your right to see your grandchildren.
Gather Evidence of Relationship
If you're being denied visitation, one or both of the parents may be trying to deny that you have a relationship with your grandchildren. If you're going to fight for your right to see your grandchildren, you'll need to gather evidence of the relationship you have with them.
Relationship as Caregiver
In today's busy world, many grandparents have stepped in to provide help with the raising of their grandchildren. If you've been providing care-giving for your grandchildren, you'll need to document your status. In other words, you'll need to provide proof that you've been responsible for the care and nurturing of your grandchildren. If you've been given authorization to obtain medical care for your grandchildren, make copies of those documents. If you're listed as an emergency contact for your grandchildren during school hours, gather copies of those documents as well. These documents will help prove that you have an established care-giving role in the lives of your grandchildren.
Relationship as Grandparent
If you weren't responsible for some of the care-giving your grandchildren receive, you still have a relationship with them. The relationship you share with your grandchildren is important. If you're being denied visitation, you need to gather evidence of the relationship you share with them. This could include family photos that show you with your grandchildren. It could also be ticket stubs for movies that you've shared together, or keepsakes that your grandchildren have made for you. All these items will show that you and your grandchildren share a bond that shouldn't be broken.
Continue Attempts at Communication
Just because you're being denied visitation doesn't mean you should stop trying to communicate with them. While you're fighting for your rights to see your grandchildren, continue your attempts at communication. Write letters and mail them to your grandchildren. Be sure to make copies of the letters, and send them a return receipt. This will allow you to document the communication your sending, as well as provide proof that you're sending them.
Speak to an Attorney
Finally, if you're not having any luck with your requests for visitation, it's time to speak to an attorney. This is particularly important if you have an established, loving relationship with your grandchildren. Your family law attorney will be able to help you go through the necessary legal steps to see your grandchildren again. For more information, contact a firm such as Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C.