Sometimes grandparents have the right to visit their grandchildren.
Grandparents do not have the right to visit their grandchildren unless they have a court order.
Grandparents and parents can agree about visitation without going to court.
But if they cannot agree, in certain situations grandparents might be able to get a court order that says they can visit.
In Massachusetts, grandparents have the right to ask a court for visits if:
The court can give grandparents some visitation if they show at a hearing that:
Even if the grandparent did not have an important relationship with the child before the case began, the court can still grant visitation rights. The court can grant visitation rights if the grandparent can prove that visitation is still necessary to protect the child from “significant harm”.
There is a court form petition that grandparents file to ask for visitation rights with their grandchild(ren).
The Probate and Family Court has instructions for filling out the form.
In the instructions the Court asks grandparents seeking visitation rights to attach an affidavit with their petition. An affidavit is a written statement that you sign. There is no affidavit "form". By signing the statement you are swearing that what you wrote in the statement is the truth. The instructions say that the affidavit should describe:
Produced by Jeff Wolf, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Last updated October, 2011