The Tulsa family law firm of Fry & Elder realizes the importance of grandparent rights in Oklahoma. Grandparents often play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Sometimes, when a parent has a disability or other impediment that interferes with the ability to care for a minor child, the child’s grandparents are able to step in and care for the grandchild. Parents and grandparents sometimes have disagreements about the necessity, nature, or scope of involvement grandparents should have in the lives of their minor grandchildren.
The law generally attempts to balance the fundamental decision-making rights of parents and the needs and best interests of the minor children. In Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in on the rights of grandparents. Oklahoma law provides for potential grandparent involvement and rights in special circumstances. Where parents and grandparents cannot agree, a trial judge may ultimately decide whether and how much grandparents may be involved in the lives of their grandchildren. If you are involved in such a dispute, whether you are a parent or a grandparent, you will need a trial lawyer.
The Oklahoma trial lawyers of Fry & Elder have experience representing parents and grandparents at trial in cases which directly and indirectly concern and affect grandparent rights in Oklahoma, including but not limited to protective orders, guardianships, juvenile deprived actions, habeas corpus proceedings, and grandparent visitation lawsuits.
When can grandparents have visitation rights?
In Oklahoma, visitation can be awarded to the grandparents if the court deems it in the best interest of the child, the nuclear family has been disrupted, and there is a showing of either parental unfitness or that the child could be harmed if the grandparent visitation does not occur. However, if the nuclear family is intact and both parents object to grandparent visitation, grandparent visitation in Oklahoma will not be awarded.
What are some factors used in determining the best interests of the child in grandparent visitation cases?
- The age and reasonable preference of the child
- The effort and motivation of a grandparent to want to continue a grandparental relationship
- The physical and mental health of the grandparent
- The physical and mental health of the parent
- The physical and mental health of the child
- The importance of the child in wanting to continue a preexisting relationship with the grandparent
- The willingness of the grandparent to encourage a close parent-child relationship
- The stability of the family unit and environment
What should you do regarding grandparent rights in Oklahoma?
If you are grandparent concerned about your visitation or grandparent rights in Oklahoma, and the welfare of your grandchild, or if you are a parent who has concerns about the involvement of a grandparent in your child’s life, we strongly encourage you to contact an experienced Oklahoma trial lawyer today. The Oklahoma family law firm of Fry & Elder has been iconic in the realm of family law for a number of years, with roots dating all the way back to 1932. The firm was named to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Law Firms from 2014-2016.
Additionally, our attorneys are some of the most respected and esteemed in the legal industry. Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. has been named a “Super Lawyer” in Oklahoma and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Fellow Tulsa family law attorneys James Elder, M. Shane Henry, Aaron Bundy, along with Fry, all have garnered the prestigious AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindal-Hubbell®, which is the highest recognition in the legal industry. Luke Barteaux, Bundy and Henry also recently made the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars List. Contact Fry & Elder today to set up your personal consultation.