What can we do as Grandparents to Help our Son, Who is a Minor, Gain Visitation Rights?

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“When my son was 14, he met a girl (also 14) & they starting dating & her family allowed him to stay over with the understanding from us he slept in her brothers room not hers. (They were both virgins at the time). They dated for 9 mos. Broke up, then a month after the breakup I receive a call from her mother that stated her daughter was pregnant. I went to the doctor’s visit & found out she was 6 1/2 months pregnant. My son had nothing to do with her after they broke up & I had to make him go to the hospital the day after his son was born to see him, which he did. He decide to come back to the hospital the day the baby was leaving & sign the birth certificate. After that my son had nothing to do with his son (because he didn’t want to see his ex). My husband & I did as much as we could & visited with the baby often. In August of this year (2006), my son decided to get back with his ex & they started dating again & his son took to him right away. (The baby was 6 months at that time – & my son did very well taking care of him). In September of this year her parents decided to move 3 hours away so her father could find work & cheaper living & so now my son is no longer dating his girlfriend. I also have to say that from the time the baby was born until they got back together for that short period my son did want to see the baby but with out her. We tried & tried to get them to let us see the baby alone with our son but it was one excuse after the other. BUT when they started dating again the first thing her parents asked us is if we would keep the baby for them to go out of town & they wanted my son to go as well, so we said yes & we kept him for 5 days. Now keep in mind they didn’t want to let us visit him alone because they felt the baby wouldn’t be comfortable since he hadn’t been around us as much as them, but the fact is the baby did great for those 5 days. These are from people who move every 3 months due to the fact that they don’t pay their bills or rent & have to move. This last time they owed over 3 grand for rent. Now we would like to have the baby visit for a few hours on Christmas day & it’s like NO unless we allow the baby’s mother to come until she feels comfortable, this coming from her mother after leaving the baby with us 5 days & not once did they call to see how he was nor were they in a hurry to get him back the day they came home. We also asked that our son be allowed to have the baby stay with him & us 2 weekends a month & on some holidays etc. like most people who are no longer together do & we were told no. You have to understand this is from people who for the whole 3 mos she was pregnant (when we found out she only had 3 mos left) wanted our son to be in the baby’s life, they didn’t want any money from him, their words, but that they wanted him to be a father to the baby & be in his life. But now that he is no longer dating their daughter their doing the same thing. We also found out that the reason she got pregnant is because she wanted a baby & so he didn’t use protection, & that her parents & grandmother wanted them to have a baby. So I guess what I want to know is if my son has any rights or do just the girl & her parents have all the rights. They are both 16 years old now & this is their baby – who then has the rights? My son & the ex or the ex’s parents? because every time we ask to see the baby it’s “I’ll have to ask my mom” My son does not have a job at this time & is going back to school in Jan. 07, he has had a lot of problems mentally dealing with everything & has depression & some other issues. I’m the one that does the asking because my son doesn’t want to talk to her – we have told him he will have to sit down with her at some point & discuss what they as parents need to do for their child so he does know this. & since he was a minor at the time she had the baby he hasn’t paid child support. We told him he’ll need to do this as well. Should we as his parents be paying the child support? We don’t have much in the way of money ourselves but have done what we could for the baby. We live in state of North Carolina & if my son wants to be in his childs life what steps does he need to take. What can I do as a parent to help him.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

In California, a grandparent is not required to pay child support for their grandchildren even if their child is a minor. Some states would allow for grandparent to pay support if they were acting in loco parentis, though the primary responsibility for the support is still on the parent of the grandchild.

Your son would be able to get visitation rights if he has both desire and ability to parent and it is in the child’s best interests. Laws vary from State to State regarding grandparent visitation, but it also goes to a best interests standard, and takes into account how much the child has bonded with the grandparents. The easiest way to see your grandchild is to have a good relationship with your own son, and facilitate his pursuit of his own rights and responsibilities.



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Author: House Attorney

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