Legal Question in Family Law in Massachusetts

Parent's right to deny grandparent visitation rights

My husband and I agree that we do not want one of our child's biological grandparents to be able to have visitation rights and do not want them involved in our life or our child's life. We are currently married and both object to this grandparent being involved. Is this grandparent able to gain visitation rights if we both object?

Asked on 9/19/01, 9:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Thomas Brady The Law Office of Thomas J. Brady

Re: Parent's right to deny grandparent visitation rights

At the present time grandparent visitation by statute is limited to certain situations. (I have included a copy of the relevant part of the statute below). Please also note that in some jurisdictions grandparent visitation laws have been struck down as an unconstitutional infringement upon the parents' rights. I did recently read that the Massachusetts statute has been challenged as well and is scheduled for oral argument on appellate review early next year.

Chapter 119: Section 39D. Visitation rights to certain grandparents of unmarried minor children.

Section 39D. If the parents of an unmarried minor child are divorced, married but living apart, under a temporary order or judgment of separate support, or if either or both parents are deceased, or if said unmarried minor child was born out of wedlock whose paternity has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction or whose father has signed an acknowledgement of paternity, and the parents do not reside together, the grandparents of such minor child may be granted reasonable visitation rights to the minor child during his minority by the probate and family court department of the trial court upon a written finding that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the said minor child;

Good Luck

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Answered on 11/06/01, 2:57 am

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