A grandparent may start an action for visitation rights in the Family Court of the county where the custodian of the minor child lives if at least one of the following is true:
- A parent of the child is deceased
- A parent is physically or mentally incapable of making a decision
- The child has been abandoned
If none of these apply, the Family Court will consider ordering grandparent visitation when the child is a minor and:
- The court is currently considering custody or visitation of the child or
- The court has issued an order about custody or visitation
Usually the Family Court considers custody and visitation as part of a divorce or parentage case. In these cases, custody is called Parental Rights and Responsibilities and visitation is called Parent-Child Contact. See our page on Child Custody and Visitation for more information about parental rights and responsibilities in divorce and parentage cases.
You must ask the court in writing for visitation rights and send a copy of your request to the parents. A lawyer can help you do this.