The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is usually a special, cherished one. However, even when grandparents have been an important part of a child’s life, situations might arise when a parent might attempt to limit their access to the children. In those cases, grandparents in Alaska can request visitation.
The process to request visitation
The process grandparents follow when requesting visitation with their grandchildren involves two steps. The first step is the request to join the children’s custody case. The form used for this will depend on the custody situation of their grandchildren. If the custody case is still active and the custody order has not been issued, grandparents can use a “Motion and Affidavit to Join for Purpose of Grandparent Visitation.” However, if the custody order has already been issued, grandparents will need to file a “Proposed Order on Motion to Join for Purpose of Grandparent Visitation.” The second step will be the formal request for visitation. Once again, the forms used will depend on the status of the custody case.
Meeting the requirements
For the court to grant visitation rights to grandparents, they must first prove several things. These include that:
- the grandparents have maintained consistent contact with their grandchildren or have actively tried to maintain this contact
- maintaining the relationship between the grandchildren and the grandparents will serve the best interests of the child
- the parent who has attempted to limit the grandparents’ access to the grandchildren can hurt the children
- there is no history of child or domestic abuse on the part of the grandparents’ son or daughter who is the children’s parent
If all the conditions are met, the court will grant visitation rights to the grandparents. However, the grandparents must follow the process. First, they will need the court to accept their petition to join the case. Second, they will need to wait for the court to decide on visitation.