Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rights of Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles

As I tell grandparents that call me, if you want to see your grandchildren be nice to the parent(s) where the child(ren) live! Under Section 153 now the grandparent seeking access MUST include in the Original Petition to the Court an affidavit alleging that denial of possession and access would SIGNIFICANTLY IMPAIR THE CHILD'S PHYSICAL HEALTH OR EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING. The court shall DENY the petition if the facts stated int he affidavit are INSUFFICINET to support the relief requested. If the facts clear this hurdle, the Court is NOT mandated to grant access, but may order easonable access and possession. Example, the child is 1 year old. The grandparent NOT have access to the child is NOT going to significantly impair the chid's emotional well-being. If the Court agrees to allow the petitioner to see the kid, the order MUST specially state, among other things, that the petitioners have overcome the presumption that a parent acts in the child's best interest and that denial of the relief would SIGNIFICANTLY IMPAIR the child's physical health or emotional well-being. This a hard burden to overcome. Grandparents are not going to like this change. The burden to overcome the presumption that a parent acts in the child's best interest is VERY HARD TO OVERCOME. Basically, you are asking the court to say that the parent is unfit or a harm to the child. If the parent is so bad, then why is CPS not involved?

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