Ohio residents know that legal matters involving children can be very difficult and stressful. Specifically, issues surrounding custody and visitation can upset an entire family. In recent news, the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from grandparents who wanted to visit with their two grandchildren.

The grandparents and the parents at issue had a solid family relationship. The grandparents were involved in the lives of their two grandchildren for several years. Nevertheless, the demise of a family business caused a strain on the family. Tension evolved between the father and grandfather. The family sought counseling; however, the parents ultimately cut all contact between the grandparents and grandchildren. A court ruled in favor of visitation rights for the grandparents in 2008; however, the state appeals court and state Supreme Court advocated the parents' rejection of visitation.

The main issue of the case questioned what standard judges should apply in deciding whether to grant visitation rights to grandparents. In some states, grandparents must show the parents are unfit for parenting. On the other hand, other states require a more lenient standard; the grandparents must only show that visits would be in the grandchildren's best interests.

Custody and visitation laws can be confusing--especially for grandparents and other extended family. The result of a court determination can severely impact a child's life. However, every state encompasses varying laws regarding child-related legal matters. For this reason, if you are confronting a family issue, you may want to speak to a knowledgeable attorney. He or she can guide you through any relevant laws.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "US top court won't hear grandparents visitation case," James Vicini, Feb. 21, 2012