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Grandparent Legal Stuff

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Do Grandparents really have legal rights?

Hi all,

I'd like to propose a discussion about whether or not grandparents have explicit legal rights with respect to grandchildren. It seems there is a lot of misinformation or conflicting information out there on the net.

Here's an example:

This Grandparents Visitation Rights article asserts that, "Under current Maine law, you may ask a court to give you the right to see your grandchildren. But you must meet several legal tests. This page explains the general rules."

The article goes on to describe how grandparents must demonstrate at least one of the following:

· At least one of the child's parents or legal guardians has died; or

· You have a "sufficient existing relationship" with your grandchild; or

· You do not have a sufficient existing relationship but you have made a "sufficient effort" to have such a relationship.

Now, this seems opposite to another grandparents rights article I read, which talks about how the Toxel V. Granville supreme court ruling decided state laws which affected a parent's fundamental right to the "care, custody and control of their children" were unconstitutional. The article said, "According to Toxel V. Granville, 527 U.S. 1069, (1999), no third party may petition for child visitation rights when the parents are fit and object. However, there may be times when the courts order grandparent visitation. This may be granted when the courts deem it within the best interest of the child."

With this in mind, do you believe grandparents actually have legal rights with respect to grandchildren??

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