I happened to be scrolling through social media one weekend and noticed a post that had been shared several times. It was a grandparent suing a daughter for visitation rights to her two grandchildren. The daughter took a picture of the court documents she had been served and proceeded to share her side of the story and how terrible her mother was and so on. Of course, there were hundreds of comments with every opinion you can think of and a plethora of “legal” advice. There are so many things I want to say about this post, but I’ll cut to the really important things. First, I want to point out the glaringly obvious, never ever post anything like this on social media. This stuff is no one’s business but the parties involved and this very well could come back to reflect unfavorably on the daughter in the court’s eyes. Secondly, the “legal” advice that people were giving her, ranged anywhere from half-truths to loosely true to not true at all. Never ever, base any legal decisions (or any decision for that matter) on the comments and opinions of others on a social media post.
Under Arkansas law, grandparents do have a legal right to visitation under §9-13-103. This law allows a grandparent or great-grandparent to petition a circuit court for reasonable visitation rights to his or her grandchildren or great-grandchildren if:
In the case above, in order for the grandparent to gain visitation rights to her grandchildren, she must rebut the presumption that the mother’s (the children’s custodian) to deny visitation to her grandchildren is in the best interest of the children. The grandmother must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the following:
The evidence required to establish a significant and viable relationship with the grandchildren, the petitioner must prove the following:
The grandparent must also prove by a preponderance of the evidence that visitation with the grandchild is in the best interest of the child:
Once the court grants or denies visitation, it is final. If the courts grant visitation:
If you are a grandparent or great-grandparent and are being denied seeing your grandchildren or great-grandchildren, contact Kevin Hickey Law Partners today to discuss filing a petition to see them. Whatever you do, do not air your dirty laundry on social media. This is a private matter between family members that should be treated as such.