Some Ohio grandparents may be aware of the problems that can arise when their children divorce. Many times, this involves a loss of visitation with grandchildren that can be painful not only for grandparents, but for grandchildren who may miss out on a significant and positive relationship. Luckily, for grandparents who wish to be involved, some states are starting to re-evaluate the concept of grandparents' rights with regard to visitation and custody laws.

Pending legislation in one state would allow grandparents to petition courts for scheduled access and visitation with their grandchildren. But there are two important conditions. First, the grandparents must demonstrate to the appropriate court that they previously maintained a close relationship with the grandchildren. And second, they must prove that the grandchildren would suffer if visitation was not permitted.

However, not everyone agrees with the law proposal. One father, who is in a state where the legislation is still pending, argues that such a law would violate his parental rights. He objects to the notion that a court could potentially overrule a joint decision made with his ex-spouse concerning the upbringing of their children. He noted that his former in-laws were abusive to his ex-wife, and the parents had consciously elected to avoid those issues concerning their children.

Nevertheless, grandparents' rights in Ohio and elsewhere continues to garner attention. While it may not be suitable in every instance, it appears that legislators and courts are increasingly willing to consider visitation rights for grandparents in those cases where it is deemed to be in the best interests of the children. Enactment of this law could promote a trend as families and courts continue to grapple with this issue.

Source: Connecticut Post, "Bill: let grandparents see kids after divorce," Ken Dixon, April 17, 2012