Grandparents can always sue for visitation rights if a parent moves out of state with a minor child. Grandparents cannot object to the move but they can always file a petition for visitation, as the move may affect their visitation time with the child. It is recommended that the parent talks to the grandparent before moving out of state to establish a visitation schedule. As long as the other parent has no problem with the move then the most a grandparent can do is a petition for visitation. If the parent moving out of state with the child is a fit parent then the grandparent can’t even file for custody.
In Maryland, grandparents are legally allowed to seek reasonable visitation rights even when the child moves out of state with a parent, as long as the visitation is within the child’s best interest. If a parent objects to a grandparent’s visitation, the court will automatically assume that the parent was acting within the child’s best interest. The court will also favour the parent’s preference of not wanting to grant visitation time to a grandparent. When moving out of state if the child’s parent objects to visitation then the grandparent must try and overcome this legal assumption.
In Maryland, if a grandparent wants to get visitation rights when the child has relocated out of state then the grandparent must overcome this legal assumption. The grandparent can do this by showing that the parent is unable to make reasonable parenting decisions, such as proving previous abandonment, violence towards the child, engaging in conduct which may harm the child or if the parent is physically or mentally unable to make decisions for the child. And if the parent has denied the grandparent visitation rights then the grandparent must prove to the court that denying this will harm the child in some way. This includes abuse, neglect, and risk of emotional harm if the child is deprived of seeing his or her grandparent. This evidence must be concrete and not just assumptions.
In order to win visitation rights out of state then the grandparent must demonstrate to the court that regular contact serves the child’s best interest.
This can be proved with matters regarding the child’s health, safety, and welfare.
In order to get visitation time in Maryland, the grandparent must file a petition to the court and any other involved parties. In this petition, the grandparent will propose the schedule for court-ordered visits. If a visitation order is already in place, but the move will interfere with it, then the grandparent can petition the court to modify it.
If the grandparent is granted visitation rights in Maryland, then a court-ordered schedule must be put in place. This schedule cannot result in any disruptions in the child’s everyday life. For example, the child cannot be coming back and forth between states every weekend. But rather an agreement that the child visits the grandparent for the summer or Christmas may be more convenient.
In the case that the child is adopted, the grandparent’s visitation rights are terminated and moved to the adoptive grandparents. If the adoptive parents decide to move out of state then the biological grandparents cannot petition the court for visitation time. However, the adoptive parents can agree to a proposed visitation time if they want.
If you need a Maryland grandparents lawyer to help you with your child custody case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland grandparents attorneys can help you.