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Do Virginia grandparents have visitation rights?

As a Virginia grandparent, a time may come when you would like to pursue visitation rights to your grandchild, and you may wonder whether you have grounds to obtain them. According to The Spruce, the state does not have statutes that are specific to grandparent visitation. Rather, the same set of statutes concern decisions regarding both visitation and custody.

To successfully pursue visitation rights to your grandchild, you must typically show that maintaining a relationship with you is in the best interest of the child in question. In making this determination, the court may conduct mental or psychological evaluations with your grandchild, and mediation and on-camera interviews may also come into play.

Furthermore, you can expect that the court will review numerous other factors in deciding whether to grant you visitation rights to your grandchild. The mental, emotional and physical conditions of your grandchild’s parents may factor in, and how much of a role parents currently play in the child’s life, or are expected to play in the future, may also be a determining factor. In some cases, a grandchild’s own preferences, too, may play a role in visitation decisions, as can any family history of abuse or neglect.

The court may also look at the willingness of your grandchild’s parents to maintain a relationship with the child, and whether the parents are willing to cooperate with one another when necessary and when doing so would benefit the child. Your grandchild’s emotional needs and his or her relationships with other family members, such as siblings, may also come into account when making grandparent visitation decisions.

This information about grandparent visitation in Virginia seeks to inform you, but it is not an exhaustive list or a replacement for legal advice. 

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