A new law in Arkansas recently took effect that amends the statute regarding a grandparent’s right to petition for visitation.
What has changed?
Arkansas Code Annotated Section 9-13-103 governs a grandparent’s rights to visitation with a minor child. The statute previously only applied in very limited circumstances. This left many grandparents who had been cut out of their grandchild’s life without any legal procedure to seek recourse. However, the new law (known as “Tara’s Law”) expands grandparent’s rights and should make it easier for grandparents to have the standing to petition for visitation. The notable changes are outlined below:
Effect of Changes
The U.S. Constitution provides protection for parental rights. The rights of a natural parent still are superior to that of a grandparent, and it will continue to be difficult to overcome parental rights. However, prior to this change in the statute, many grandparents did not even have the standing to seek visitation rights. Many times, their only route to have any rights with their grandchild was to seek a guardianship. These changes in the law should open the doors to the Court for many grandparents and great grandparents to petition for visitation.
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