Seder & Chandler, LLP
Worcester 508-471-3018
Westborough 508-709-0024

Grandparent visitation rights in Massachusetts

When married parents decide to divorce or unmarried parents split-up, decisions must be made with regard to child custody and visitation. While the courts tend to focus on ensuring that, when possible, a child has access to and the opportunity to form a relationship with both parents; the visitation rights of extended family members are not recognized without a court order.

For a grandparent, a grown child's divorce or split from a grandchild's mother or father can be upsetting on many levels. In cases where child custody matters between parents are contentious, a grandparent is likely to have valid concerns about a grandchild's wellbeing. Grandparents may also worry about whether or not a bitter divorce or split could jeopardize their ability to see and spend time with a grandchild.

Barring a court order, a grandparent does not have legal visitation rights to a grandchild. Ideally, it's always best when a grandchild's parents and grandparents can come to an agreement about visitation outside of court. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. In order to obtain a court order, certain conditions must be met and fulfilled.

For example, a grandchild's parents must be divorced or officially separated. In cases where a grandchild's parents were never married, a paternal grandparent can only petition for visitation rights if paternity was established. If these basic conditions are met, a grandparent must prove that awarding visitation rights is in a grandchild's best interest based on a past close relationship or a belief that a grandchild will suffer mental or physical harm if visitation is not granted.

Massachusetts grandparents who want to petition for visitation rights to a grandchild, would be wise to seek legal advice from a family law attorney who handles child custody cases. An attorney can answer questions, provide advice and assist in helping a grandparent fight for the right to see and spend time with a grandchild.

Source:, "Grandparent Visitation," Sept. 1, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Get Legal Help Now

Contact Us Today To Learn More

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Worcester Office
339 Main Street
Suite 300
Burnside Building
Worcester, MA 01608

Phone: 508-471-3018
Worcester Law Office

Westborough Office
1900 West Park Drive
Suite 280
Westborough, MA 01581

Phone: 508-709-0024
Westborough Law Office