Friday, January 15, 2010

Grandparent Rights?

I know, I know, sometimes it's not good to beat an old horse or whatever the old saying is.

But, I'm remembering a Supreme Court decision of ten years ago on grandparents rights which I disagreed with then and still do now.

The Court basically said grandparents have no rights when it comes to access and visitation rights with their grandchildren.

The intricacies of the case are not important, but the emotion of it tuged at the hearts of all grandparents who can empathize with the emptiness of not seeing their kids' kids.

We live in a society today where divorce is easy and prevalent. Children, once products of a loving relationship, become pawns in the often vitriolic battles between divorcing couples. The pain of divorce, for whatever reason, brings on attack in one parent or another and most times both. Often the attack affects whatever or whomever the other partner loved, specifically their parents. Thus by denying a grandparent the access to a grandchild the hurt of the grandparent can be transferred as pain to the divorcing parent.

This supreme court decision was based on a hesitancy of further legalizing a states intrusion into the alleged family unit, albeit a single parent unit.

All parents, divorcing or not, should be aware of what psychologists and anthropologists have been telling us for years. Young people need the experience of generational understanding and experience. Grandparents bring a unconditional balance that parents most often cannot provide.

It is no wonder that the United States is one of the few nation's on earth that does not revere its elders. Unfortunately the supreme court decision reinforces that unnatural condition.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how you can say the intricacies of a court case are not important. They are extremely important.
And what the court actually said is that it should be assumed that the parent is acting in the best interestes of the child, and so the petitioning party muct overcome a high hurdle to prove otherwise.
The idea of forcing a visitation schedule on a family should not be taken lightly.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'alleged' family unit, and if you are inferring a single parent family is less of a unit than one with two parents.
My wife dies 5 years ago soon after giving birth to our first son. I have since remarried, and my late wife's mother does get to see her grandson on a regular basis.
However she is constantly threatening to take me to court if she does not get her visits when and how often as she wants.
And the fact is because of these laws she can drag me to court at any time, subjecting me and my family to the stress of a court battle, not to mention draining my life savings to pay legal fees.
Every situation is different and i'm sure there are good faith grandparents who are being denied visits, but these vague statutes can be used as threats and held over parents heads.
The reason the court is hesitant to legalize intrusion on the family unit is because that intrusion is unconstitutional - see 14th amendment.

Kat said...

I still don't understand how I am being denied the right to see my grandchildren. There are things going on that give me cause for concern and I was told not to do anything about it or I would never see my grandbabies again. I can't file for visitation because the parents are married as if that makes them wise. I do not even get the chance to be heard.

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