There is just something special about a bond between a young child and his or her grandparents. Special overnights, trips to the park, tea parties and drawing contests make it a treat to spend the day with grandma or grandpa. It is often true that grandparents add value to a child’s life that may not be accessible in their relationship with their primary caregivers.
Grandparents are often a source of stability and comfort that provides a safe space for young children to explore their curiosity about the world around them. When circumstances come along that necessitate a divorce, that stability and comfort become all the more important. Yet, depending on the custodial agreement, grandparents may fear a loss of connection with their grandchildren.
Grandparents can petition for visitation rights
Thankfully, the state of Hawaii recognizes the important role that grandparents can fulfill in the lives of children. As such, the courts will consider awarding visitation rights to grandparents as long as it is in the best interest of the child or children. There are some stipulations to this, of course. The law holds only if the state is the childʻs home state at the beginning of the divorce proceedings. It also makes clear that all living parents and custodians must receive appropriate notice of the filed petition as well as information regarding the hearing.
In addition, the parents’ feelings are awarded more weight in these issues unless a parent has been judged unfit, so that can make visitation difficult if both parents decide the grandparents should be cut off.
If your children are working through divorce proceedings, it is understandable that you might worry about how this will impact the time you get with your grandchild or grandchildren. If you can, try to speak to them directly about your desire to remain in their childrenʻs lives. They probably want you to stay in the picture, too.
Where this mutual understanding is not so evident, be assured that you also have the right to request visitation access. Understanding your options will help you make the wisest decisions for everyone involved.