Parents receive visitation rights after a divorce. However, what about other members of the family? Often, families have many members that have a connection with the child. It is very easy for those members, such as grandparents, to be forgotten during a custody arrangement. It is not uncommon when parents work, for children will stay with other members of the family. Therefore, children are not bound to one parent or another, they have an entire system. This is why they should have an active role in the custody agreement. But what rights do they have? And is visitation something that you can guarantee for other family members?
Grandparents and Visitation Rights
In short, yes, grandparents have visitation rights in South Carolina. However, this was not always the case. Prior to 2014, their visitation rights were tough to obtain. Then, governor Nikki Haley, signed into law the ‘Grandparent Visitation Statute’.
The Grandparent Visitation Statute
This allows grandparents visitation rights as long as they pass a few tests before they receive approval.
The first of those few, is that of proving that the child’s parent(s) deprived the grandparent(s) of the opportunity to see the child for more than 90 days. The second, is providing proof that the grandparents visitation rights will not interfere will the parent-child relationship or custody arrangements.
Lastly, the child would have to be a child of divorce, separation, or lost parents. Also, the grandparent must be a natural of legally adoptive guardian of one parent. This simply means that Grandma’s close friend who has always been in the child’s life is not entitled to visitation as a natural grandparent would be.
Bringing change to an outdated statute
The main problem with South Carolina’s previous law was the term “parent-child” relationship. Essentially, a grandparent would need to have a relationship similar to that of the parent to child to even be considerable for visitation rights. Often, that relationship was not the same, so, the grandparents would lose any rights. In contrast, some courts chose to interpret the law very loosely. So, they would often grant grandparents visitation rights when they had no strong relationship with the child.
Ultimately, the former law was not careful enough to outline family visitation rights. In short, South Carolina fixed the situation with a law that considers each and every party. These changes provide grandparents proper rights after they meet a set of fair and obtainable criteria.