Grandparents Visitation Rights
Indiana Grandparent visitation is governed by the Indiana Grandparent Visitation Act, which sets forth the circumstances under which a grandparent may seek visitation rights with a grandchild. Under that law, a “maternal or paternal grandparent” includes (1) the adoptive parent of the child’s parent; (2) the parent of the child’s adoptive parent; and (3) the parent of the child’s parent.
Generally, a child’s grandparent may seek visitation if: (1) one (or both) of the child’s parents is deceased; (2) the child’s parents are divorced; or (3) the child was born out of wedlock. For paternal grandparents to seek visitation with a child born out of wedlock, it is necessary that their son’s paternity over the child first be established.
Indiana courts, when considering a petition for the exercise of grandparents rights, first and foremost consider the best interest of the child. Once awarded, grandparent visitation rights survive the adoption of the child by a stepparent, or by someone biologically related to the child, such as another grandparent, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, or a niece or nephew.