According to experts and studies, divorce rates have increased, seniors are now living longer and they are more active than they used to be. This would explain why grandparents play an important role in bringing up grandchildren or just being there for their grandchildren. In addition, these factors have also lead to more research being done on grandparent visitation laws.
Usually there is no restriction when it comes to grandparents visiting their grandchildren. Both look forward to the visits because both can have fun, go on trips or even provide baby-sitting facilities. However, when the parents divorce or parents stop grandparents from seeing their grandchildren, the family bonds are stretched to the limit.
No state law in the US automatically allows a grandparent visitation rights. Usually the grandparent has to hire a lawyer, go to court, prove that not visiting the grandchildren would be harmful to the development and growth of the children and it is only then they can get visitation rights.
Unfortunately many states have made grandparent visitation law null and void so many grandparents no longer have the recourse of going to court to get their visitation rights.
One of the reasons that research is being done on grandparent visitation laws because many of the family dynamics are dependent on these and other laws that a state may have. One of the latest researches on grandparents' visitation laws was conducted by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The study took into account 65 cases where grandparents had got court order to visit their grandchildren and how this, in turn, affected the development of the family.
It was seen that these 65 cases acquired visitation rights through two means -- one was visiting was in the best interest of the child; and there seems to a shift in the views related to traditional family law where the rights of the grandparents and the parents were taken into consideration.
However, the research concluded that social scientists should address the complex nature of grandparents visitation rights, family law and other family issues so that the positive role of grandparents in a child's development can be studied. The study has also given suggestions on how these complexities can be addressed.
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