Being a grandparent is one of the best callings in the world. Unfortunately, some South Dakota residents who have achieved that role in life find that they do not get to see their grandchildren as often as they would like. It is sad and unfortunate, but at the end of the day, it is generally up to a child’s parents how often they get to see their grandparents. This leaves some grandparents wondering if they can seek visitation rights through legal means.
The good news is, yes, grandparents can seek visitation rights in South Dakota. Achieving them, though, is a whole other story. The state may allow it, but that doesn’t mean everyone who seeks visitation rights will receive them.
In South Dakota, the are what the courts care about when determining child custody and visitation arrangements. Most often, parents can agree on terms that they believe will work for their families. If they can’t, a judge will hear what each parent wants, possibly hear from witnesses, and then issue a custody order based on what he or she believes will best serve the child. Generally speaking, some form of shared custody is ideal.
What about grandparents?
Grandparents may seek visitation rights for various reasons. They may feel that the parents are withholding their grandchildren from them for no good reason. They may feel it would serve their grandchildren’s best interests to be in their lives. Whatever the reason, the state says they have the right to seek visitation rights under two conditions — they cannot interfere with the parent-child relationship and they must show that having visitation rights will benefit their grandkids.
Looking at the big picture
At the end of the day, when a grandparent seeks visitation rights, the court has to look at the big picture overall. Some grandparents will achieve the visitation rights they are wanting, and others won’t. There is a fine line between doing what is best for the child and stomping on parental rights. The courts have to be careful not to cross that line.
Wanting to be able to see your grandchildren is understandable. Under the right circumstances, you may utilize the courts to . It may not be an easy fight to win, but if you feel it is worth your time and effort and is best for your grandkids, help is available to assist you in your fight.