Grandparents’ Law in Child Custody Situations


Grandparents generally do not have independent visitation rights with their grandchildren. However, the law allows for anyone that has created a child-parent relationship (“psychological parent”) or an ongoing personal relationship to petition for the establishment of independent visitation rights (including grandparents). A grandparent, or other individual aside from the biological parent, may also obtain custody rights with a minor child under certain circumstances. Grandparents’ custody rights vary by state, but in Oregon, those who have recently been the primary caretaker of the minor child may be able to gain custody if the parents are unable to care for the child.

Can a Family Attorney Help Me Visit My Grandchildren?

A grandparents’ rights attorney who is well-versed in custody and family law and has knowledge of psychological parents’ rights can help. Often, it is best to resolve visitation concerns through mediation and not court proceedings. However, in both situations, a lawyer can help mediate or file a court order to obtain visitation rights. These situations are complicated and one should consult with a lawyer to analyze the specific situation and determine the best course of action.

Under What Circumstances Can Grandparents Gain Legal Custody?

In some cases, a grandparent (or other close relative) can petition for legal custody of a minor child. Whenever possible, the courts try to keep children with their biological parents. So, grandparent petitions for custody are only considered in extreme situations where both parents are either unwilling or unable to care for their child. Even when that is the case, the grandparents still need to meet certain criteria to obtain custody. The biggest one is that they need to have recently already been the primary caretaker (i.e. had physical custody) of the child. Proof of monetary support is helpful, but is not a substitute for physical custody. A grandparents’ rights attorney should be utilized for the best outcome in these difficult situations.

Hobson / Oram Law

Hobson Oram Law