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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My husbands parents have filed a petition with the court to

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My husband's parents have filed a petition with the court to see our 23 month old daughter.
We have determined that it is not in her best interest to have a relationship with them. They have not seen her since she was 3 months old. Do they have a case? Should we retain counsel?
Thank you for your question.

Most likely they DO NOT have a case. Here is why:

At this time the present trend of both Federal and state law is that parents have superior rights to their children, and are free to deny access to grandparents, siblings, or anyone else who has no parental right or guardianship over the children. In 2000 the US Supreme Court affirmed such a position in Troxel v. Granville, where the court ruled that parents are free to deny access.

At the same time, some specific exceptions do exist, and the courts can and do take a look into them. Those exceptions deal with the bond that grandparents may have with the child(ren) or whether or not at one point the grandparents were guardians, or if the child(ren) lived for an extensive period of time with the grandparents. In this situation the children never lived with the grandparents, and the child is too young to create a bond. As such their petition will most likely fail.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 12/1/2010 at 8:37 PM EST
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