Grandparents' visitation rights? Hooray for David Weeks!

As this is the season for families to come together, the Blogland brings you news of a bill to be introduced in the State House by State Rep. David Weeks, a Democrat from Sumter.

Weeks' bill seeks to make it easier for grandparents who are denied time with their grandchildren to seek visitation rights through family court. This bill seeks to address a long-standing problem.

I know more than one grandparent who is jerked around by their adult children or in-laws over this issue, expected to be babysitters and providers of financial assistance, and then cut off on a whim. It's time to stop this abusive practice and put our children first.

Weeks' bill is a good idea, and it's a long-overdue sign that someone recognizes that grandparents should have rights too. Be sure to drop him an email and thank him for standing up on this issue.

8 Response to "Grandparents' visitation rights? Hooray for David Weeks!"

  1. Anonymous 27/12/06 09:56
    I completely disagree with the bill. I wouldn't trust my parents or my own grandparents to be alone with my kids for many reasons. None of them were very good parents and just because I pop out a few kids doesn't mean that they'll all of a sudden be good enough to deserve time with my kids.
  2. Earl Capps 27/12/06 13:38
    anon - the bill doesn't give them automatic rights, or force parents to hand their children over. the court must still be convinced that they are not harmful to the children in question.

    i don't doubt what you're saying. some people just don't need to be around kids for a number of reasons, including grandparents.

    but i also know many good caring grandparents who get visitation cut off by a vengeful ex-son or daughter in law, or in response to not forking over money to their adult children.

    children who have close relationships with their grandparents deserve to have those relationships protected.

    in today's society, when we see so many cases of parents who walk away from their children, our system should do more encourage and protect those who do care and want to stay involved.
  3. Anonymous 27/12/06 22:09
    While I agree that Grandparents rights are nessesary, I disagree with the scope you have chosen. 99% of all Grandparents and kind gental loving people who do not have a problem seeing thier Grandchildren. I am a parent, and I have been sued over Grandparent rights. I beleive the law is far to open to the courts interpretation of what is best for a child. If the child is in an in-tact family (IE 2 parents) and both parents think sending thier child off with Grandma for 3 weeks isn't in their childs best interest, special care should be taken to not interfere with a parents right to raise their child how they see fit. This law makes sense in cases where there are divorces, but when a Grandmother sues her own child and son-in-law, the law is too bias to Grandparents and creates un-nessesary stress within young families that can sometimes have an even more negative effect on the child. I prey that you will talk with parents who have been on the receiving end of these lawsuits and ask them how it has affected thier families.
  4. james 28/12/06 06:21
    In Scotland due to our experience, we have asked for contact of a couple of hours a month or by negotiation. The right of contact by phone, e-mail, text and the right to send birthday and Christmas cards and presents. Surely this is not asking for too much.
    The reason contact is needed is child abuse is on the rise in the home and because grandparents are regarded as irrelevant persons by law to their grandchildren they are unable to spot abuse and prevent it.
    If everyone put their own selfish needs to the side, there would be no need for laws at all. Grandparents only want what the caring families do already that is put the best interests of the children first.
  5. Anonymous 28/12/06 08:24
    i don't know who all of my children are, much less their children how is this going to help me i want to find out who the girl in the red shirt in you xmas video is i would love to show her some holiday cheer and go to court all over again
  6. Moye 29/12/06 18:38
    I do believe in Grandparents rights and that is what it is. Of course if the Grandparent is a prick then no she/he does not deserve any rights. I do not have this problem but a lot of Grandparents do. I used to tell my kids you move more than a state away I will sue you of course I was kidding I think. Sometimes distance is hard to overcome as the Grandparent ages. Maybe the Democratic congress can pass a bill to give money to Grandparents who have to travel great distances. Maybe this Legislature from Sumter can add that to his bill.
  7. Joanna Benjamin-Gibson 1/1/07 20:42
    I too disagree with the bill that would allow grandparents more rights. My husband passed approximately two years ago, during this time my in-laws have not offered anything, provided nothing, and requested never to spend time with my two daughters simply because I would oversee every aspect of the visit inclusive of verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse.

    Although there are issues which greatly concern me regarding the well-being of my children if time is spent with my in-laws, I have actually been blessed by their decision not to endow any negative influences upon my children's lives. I am still concerned that the law may dictate time spent with individuals that have not the best interest of my children in mind!

    The bill if passed can take on the persona of a virus. The only one who will truly be infected are "our children"! Parents make decisions for and to protect their children. The law threatens to take away our God given rights!

    Parents should not have to provide visitation rights to anyone they choose not to. This has nothing to do with babysitting issue nor financial constraints. Its called plain and simply parenting for underage minors!

    I trust and wholeheartedly pray that the court system will prevail in allowing parents not "grandparents" to be parants!
  8. Anonymous 23/4/12 18:14
    I am a wonderful Grandmother.I lost my youngest son.Which is the father of my grandaughter.Since her birth,she had been in my home 2-3 times weekly.Almost every weekend.Without a warning she was taken away six months abo.She adores me and her Papa.We did nothing wrong.Rather a new man enterd her life.Good for her ! But why should the baby and her paternal family be kept apart?She lies to her telling her she can called.Then refuses to let her call.Gone even as far as to file a false police report.I am calling on grandparents to let's put on heat on the people that we voted in.

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