Grandparent Rights Appellate Attorney
Grandparent visitation disputes compare (a) the Constitutional right of parents to raise their children against (b) the best interest of the child to continue an established relationship with a grandparent. Parental rights presumptively control, but there are limits. The best interest of the child and the "right" to maintain relationships is also important.
The initial, critical issue is whether the grandparent has standing to challenge the parent's decision. Standing involves a review of the grandparent's history of interaction with the child and how continuing that relationship is in the "best interests of the child."
A grandparent visitation appeal is typically very fact intensive. A keen attention to detail is required. The ramifications of each case is far reaching because the child's contact with an entire side of the family may be at stake. Ultimately the decision is one of discretion for the judge. But judges make mistakes.
The reality is that grandparent rights are constantly evolving to meet the demands of our changing society both here in Massachusetts and nationally. If you do not challenge the grandparent visitation judgment with a timely appeal then the judgment will become final. Final judgments become the baseline for future disputes between parents and grandparents.