Do Grandparents Have the Rights They Should? – Grandparents.com

 

Total Family Alienation

See state-by-state guide to grandparents’ rights.

Coming Soon: As a service to our readers, Grandparents.com is establishing the American Grandparents AssociationTM with the goal of becoming a key resource for grandparents who are physically removed from their grandchildren and would like to find a way to visit them.

Richard Kent, a family lawyer at Fairfield, Conn.-based Meyers Breiner & Kent, frequently goes to courtroom battle for grandparents seeking visitation with, or custody of, grandchildren.

“The state of grandparents’ rights is terrible,” says Kent. Under the current laws, if a couple’s adult daughter dies, he says, those grandparents could be denied visitation with their grandchild by the child’s father.

Even if they had what most people would consider a classic grandparent-grandchild relationship and, let’s say, saw their grandchild every Sunday afternoon. But in the eyes of Connecticut law, says Kent, unless grandparents have functioned as de facto parents — meaning they lived with their grandchildren or took care of them while the parents were at work — they are treated no differently than strangers.

“I think it’s absurd that a boy’s father can legally keep his grandparents out of his life,” says Kent, who wrote Solomon’s Choice: A Guide to Custody for Ex-Husbands, Spurned Partners, & Forgotten Grandparents (Taylor Trade Publishing).

Families crumble for any number of reasons: divorce, the death of a parent, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration. Grandparents in the U.S. do have rights and can seek visitation with grandchildren, but those rights vary from state to state. Understanding your basic rights can help ensure that your relationship with the grandchildren doesn’t end should that with their parents. Of course, every case involves a unique set of facts and grandparents who find themselves suddenly cut off from grandchildren should consult a lawyer to discuss the course of action their specific situations require.

When Grandparents’ Rights Changed

In June 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision on grandparents’ visitation rights in the Troxel v. Granville case. This canceled out a Washington State law that permitted judges to grant visitation to any interested party so long as the visits were in the best interest of the child — even if the parents objected.

The Troxel v. Granville decision was ambiguous because while the majority of the justices agreed that Troxel should be decided a certain way, each had a different reason for doing so which resulted in six written opinions.

This makes it hard for state courts to interpret the decision. Despite this and the narrow set of facts in which the case dealt, Troxel v. Granville has become the basis for all subsequent discussion of grandparents’ rights.

Parent Vs. Grandparent: Whose Call Is It?

The case dates back to 1993, when Brad Troxel committed suicide in Washington State. Brad left behind two daughters and their mother, Tommie Granville, whom he had never married. Brad and Tommie were estranged at the time of his death, but Brad’s parents, Gary and Jenifer, kept visiting their grandchildren after the suicide. When Tommie remarried and her new husband adopted the daughters she’d had with Brad, Tommie limited the grandparents’ visits.

The Troxels wanted more time with their grandchildren and went to court for it, citing Washington State’s third-party visitation law, which said they had the right to visit so long as it was in the best interest of the children. A trial judge agreed.

The Supreme Court, however, did not and found the Washington State law “breathtakingly broad,” arguing that it infringed upon parental rights. It struck down the Washington Supreme Court’s decision, which had granted the Troxel grandparents rights to more visitation.

While groups such as AARP filed court papers in favor of grandparents’ rights, the parents’ rights groups hailed the Supreme Court decision in favor of Tommie Granville a victory. Groups such as the Coalition for the Restoration of Parental Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union applauded the decision which gave “fit” parents the final say on how to raise their children — including whether grandparents could see them.

Laws Differ State by State

At the most basic level, all states require grandparents to prove that the visits they seek are in the best interest of the grandchild. This generally means grandparents must show that their visits won’t be harmful in any way, and that they aren’t abusive or otherwise dangerous to the child. Beyond this initial hurdle, each state has a different threshold for when it will allow grandparents to take a case to court.

Continue reading

The harm that conflicts over custody can do to children; and that the fight itself can cause the most damage

The Honorable Lawson E Thomas (1898-1989)
Lawson E. Thomas was an outstanding civil rights activist who worked tirelessly to make a pronounced change in Miami’s social and political environment, and who did so utilizing the law as his tool. His first major victory on behalf of a group of clients was gained in the late 1940s when he represented black parents in Broward County who successfully sued the School Board over unequal treatment of their children. At the time, the school year for black children was three months shorter than for white children, so that black children would be available to work in the bean fields.
 
Child on the stand - 2016

SAPPensemos en los hijos primero – para ayudar a las familias envueltas en
disputas por la tenencia de los hijos.

 

VIDEO: http://www.jud2.ct.gov/vod/CustodyDisputesSpanish.asx

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The goal of the presentation is to help parents understand, early in the process, the harm that conflicts over custody can do to their children; and that the fight itself can cause the most damage.05691-knowtheindustry2521

Happy Birthday Daughter

MISSED
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
BIRTHDAYS!!

Lawson E. Thomas

Courthouse Center

175 N.W. 1st Avenue

Miami, Florida 33128

Dear Honorable Judges:

The purpose of this letter is to and for verifying that I am the Natural Mother and that David M. Inguanzo is the Natural Father of David K. Inguanzo born on the 20th of September 1999. I have known David M. Inguanzo since 1992 when we met at St. Thomas University. In 1995 we began living together which led to our marriage and the birth of our son. Our marriage ended on June 4th, 2004. I remarried in 2007 and have 2 more children named Noah and Faith.

Since we met, during our relationship, and up to the present David and I have had our share of differences which I think is normal in human nature as not everyone can agree on everything and most times we just have to agree to disagree. However any and all of the differences that David and I have experienced have always been overcome and in the end we have always, and I am sure that we will always continue, acting in the best interest of our son.

Moreover, David is a devote and loving Father and has enjoyed liberal timesharing with our son since our divorce. He takes excellent care of our son and I encourage that they spend as much time together as possible. During the school year our son resides with me and during the summer school break our son resides with his Father.


Our son has traveled extensively with his Father on cruises, road trips and annual skiing trips to Utah. David (the Father) is very sports oriented and our son has taken after his Father and loves to play baseball, racquetball and swimming just to name a few.

David is worldly wise and highly intelligent and has taught and continues to teach our son the most important life lessons and virtues such as responsibility, honesty, and most importantly honor. He teaches him about good morals and ethics, patience, determination and resilience, and religion and spirituality. In addition to my Father and my husband, David is one of the best dads on this planet! My other two children love him and I completely trust him with our son and them.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

David has demonstrated time and time again that there is not a moment that he would hesitate to take our son to the doctor, to school, to church, to play sports, to roller-skate, to buy him clothes and food wherever he may be with our son and regardless of his own personal interest. David’s has demonstrated to me that his life revolves around his children; David and Zoraya.

He has made sacrifices in his life to ensure that David and Zoraya always have what they need and they will always be together as a family. Zoraya has been raised together with our son David and is always thinking about her. David (the Father) has taught our son the importance of “Family.”

Co-Parenting our son with David has been very enlightening to me. We treat each other with respect and understanding, helping each other to promote and provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment.

At times David can be very vocal in his ideas, beliefs and thoughts on how to best raise our son, we have always put our best points forward and from this we have learned together thus making us better Parents. In our relationship as parents we do not argue…we mediate as adults and together decide what is best.Please know that I have never seen David act out of control, in anger and or in hatred towards me and or to another person. I am absolutely certain that he would never harm anyone and am sure that anyone who really knows David believes this including Zoraya’s Mother, Ms. Nixa Rose.

I can honestly and reverently declare that having David as my son’s Father has been a blessing.

Please feel free to contact me should the need arise.

Respectfully submitted,

Danniza L.

Copy furnished to: Mr. Joel E. Greenberg, Esq

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

BY COURT ORDER ISSUED TODAY, DATED OCTOBER 10TH, 2013, BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE VALERIE MANNO-SCHURR OF THE 11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT’S FAMILY COURT DIVISION IN/FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FLORIDA.

Greeting card from my daughter’s mother

~

  1. ALL IMAGES THAT MY DAUGHTER’S FATHER POSTED ON THE INTERNET (THIS BLOG) OF HIS DAUGHTER ARE TO BE REMOVED.
    – ACCORDING TO THE “RULES” OF SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY IF MY DAUGHTER’S FATHER DOES NOT HAVE PERMISSION OF MY DAUGHTER’S MOTHER TO POST PHOTOS OF THEIR DAUGHTER.
  2. PETITIONER/NATURAL FATHER ORDERED NOT GO TO HIS DAUGHTERS PUBLIC SCHOOL TO VISIT HER.
    – BECAUSE HE HAS SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY HE MAY BE INFORMED OF HIS DAUGHTERS EDUCATION, ATTEND AND COORDINATE PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES, ATTEND SCHOOL EVENTS, SCHOOL MEETINGS, PTA AND SO FORTH. KEEP IN MIND THAT PETITIONER/NATURAL FATHER ALSO HAS A SON IN THIS COUNTY’S PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SINCE 2005.
  3. ANOTHER 12 WEEKS OF SUPERVISED VISITATION AT THE FAMILY COURTHOUSE.
    – IN THIS CASE THERE HAVE BEEN PERIODS OF 9 AND 10 MONTHS THAT MY DAUGHTER AND MY DAUGHTER’S FATHER WERE WITHOUT ANY CONTACT. THE COURT AND THE OPPOSING PARTY REPEATEDLY IGNORED MY DAUGHTER’S FATHER PLEAS FOR RESUMPTION OF FATHER-DAUGHTER CONTACT. IN THIS CASE A TOTAL OF 2-3 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL “TEMPORARY” SUPERVISED VISITATION OCCURRED AT THE DAUGHTER’S DAY CARE CENTER BY MY DAUGHTER’S FATHER (NOT AN OFFICIAL SUPERVISED VISITATION AGENCY) AS ORDERED BY HONORABLE JUDGE DENNIS IN 2009. THEN IN 2012 THE PETITIONER/NATURAL FATHER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE COURT’S ORDERED 12 WEEKS OF SUPERVISED VISITATION AT THE FAMILY COURTHOUSE ENDING JANUARY 5TH, 2013.
    – NO CONTACT BETWEEN FATHER-DAUGHTER THROUGHOUT THE REST OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, JULY, AND AUGUST OF 2013.
Childrens Rights Florida shared Pablo Arriola‘s photo.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ~ Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of United States of America (1872 – 1933)