This is the next post in my series on the rights of Las Vegas grandparents to have a relationship with their grandchildren. My last post discussed guardianship and visitation issues which often arise when an adult child passes away. In this post I will be discussing what rights a grandparent has to their grandchildren if their adult child is incarcerated.
Las Vegas grandparents may dispute who gets guardianship of the grandchildren if both parents are incarcerated
It is devastating for a parent if their child is convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison. Many grandparents immediately worry about what will happen to their grandchildren in such instances. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for both parents to be incarcerated at the same time. When this happens then there may be a dispute between the grandparents as to who should take guardianship. If both sets of grandparents wish to have guardianship of the children then a Clark County Family Court Judge will decide which grandparents are more likely to protect the children’s best interests.
The Court will consider several factors when determining which set of grandparents are more likely to protect the best interests of the children. First, the Court will consider which set of grandparents have a closer relationship to the children. If one set of grandparents have more regularly provided child care, or if the children have lived with them for a period of time then this will be a significant factor. However, the Court may also consider such things as the health and financial position of the grandparents, whether the grandparents live in the children’s school district, and the children’s preference. The Court will also decline to place children with any family member who has a record of child abuse or domestic violence in their past. If appropriate, the Court may order for one set of grandparents’ to take primary guardianship of the children, while granting the other set of grandparents visitation. Las Vegas grandparents who find themselves in this situation should retain an attorney protect their interests.
Las Vegas grandparents may have a child visitation claim under certain circumstances
Another common scenario occurs. This other scenario is when a grandparent’s adult child is incarcerated and that grandparent does not get along with the non-incarcerated custodial parent. This may result in the grandparents being allowed to see their grandchildren less than they had prior to the first parent’s incarceration. A Las Vegas grandparent facing such circumstances will only have visitation rights under certain circumstances. If the non-incarcerated parent has custody and does not wish to allow the children to see the grandparents then that wish will be presumed valid by the Court. However, if the grandparents have resided with the child for a period of time, or have had a significant close relationship, then it may be possible to ask the court for a visitation order.
Las Vegas grandparent rights lawyer Kari Molnar may be able to help if your child has been incarcerated and their prison sentence has resulted in you seeing your grandchildren less often. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.