Des Moines Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys

Protecting Grandparents’ Rights in Iowa

Many grandparents today have a strong bond with their grandchildren and
play an important role in their lives. Sadly,
divorce, separation, death of a parent, or conflicts among family members can
threaten a grandparent’s ability to maintain a relationship with
their grandchildren.

Grandparents in Iowa have a legal right to request court-ordered visitation
with their grandchildren only if one parent dies, and if that parent was
the child of the grandparent requesting visitation. If you are being denied
time with your grandchild under these circumstances, our skilled
family law attorneys at
Hope Law Firm can help you seek the visitation you and your grandchild deserve.

Call our grandparents’ rights attorneys in Des Moines at
(515) 298-5056 or
contact us online today.

How to Get Court-Ordered Visitation As a Grandparent in Iowa

Grandparents seeking visitation have the burden of proof and have several
legal hurdles to clear. To obtain court-ordered visitation, they must
show that visitation is in the best interests of the child; prove that
they had a substantial relationship with the child before the suit for
visitation was filed; and overcome the presumption that the surviving
parent with
custody of the child has the right to make decisions regarding visitation.

Factors considered in determining visitation with a grandparent include:

  • The child’s prior relationship with the grandparent
  • How close the grandparent’s residence is to the child’s residence
  • How much time the child has available
  • Health and safety of the child
  • Wishes of the child
  • Wishes of the surviving parent
  • Physical and mental health of all parties
  • Whether the grandparent has a criminal history or history of abuse or neglect

Proving a Substantial Relationship with the Grandchild

There are three ways to establish that the grandparent and grandchild have
a substantial relationship:

  • The child has lived with the grandparent for six months or more
  • The grandparent has provided complete or partial financial support for
    the child for six months or more
  • The grandparent has had frequent visitation with the child (including some
    overnight visits) for one year or more

Challenging the Parent’s Right to Make Decisions Regarding Visitation

Under Iowa law, the surviving parent is presumed to be right about denying
grandparent visitation unless the grandparent can prove either that:

  • The parent is unfit to make that decision; or
  • The parent’s judgment has been impaired as evidenced by drug abuse,
    diagnosed mental illness, abuse or neglect of the child, violence or indifference
    toward the child, or a demonstrated inability or unwillingness to consider
    the emotional and physical well-being of the child.

Although grandparents’ rights are limited in the state of Iowa, child
visitation may be awarded to grandparents under certain circumstances.
We understand that maintaining a relationship with your grandchild is
a very important matter. Our Des Moines grandparents’ rights attorneys at
Hope Law Firm are here to provide sound legal counsel and dedicated advocacy if you
are seeking an order from the court for visitation with your grandchild.

Call us for a free consultation at
(515) 298-5056.