Under Massachusetts law, grandparents do not have visitation
rights without a court order, and if the parents and grandparents cannot agree informally, the grandparents would have to seek a court order for visitation.Grandparents have the right to ask a court for visits if:the parents were married and got divorced;the parents are still married, but are living apart and there is a court order about the separation
; oreither or both parents are deceased; orthe parents were never married, they are living apart, and the father has signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage
” or there is a court judgment saying that he is the father; orthe parents were never married, are living apart, but the father has not signed a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage” or there is no court judgment saying that he is the father, the maternal grandparents can still ask for visitation. Maternal grandparents are the parents of the child's mother
.If you qualify for visitation under one of the above provisions, then a petition for visitation can be filed, and the court can award you visitation rights if you can show the following:it is in their grandchild's best interest; andthey had an important relationship with their grandchild before the grandparent visitation
case began; andit will be very harmful to their grandchild's health, safety, or welfare if their grandchild cannot see them.