• Published: May 27, 2020
Grandparent Visitation Rights In Kansas.

 

Grandparent’s rights are important. When a life changing event occurs, such as a divorce, death of a child’s parent, or a paternity action, grandparents have a legal right under Kansas law, K.S.A. 23-3301, to request court-ordered visitation with their grandchild(ren). A grandparent must establish that they have had a substantial grandparent-grandchild relationship and that it would be in the best interests of the child, or children, for the court to order the same.

In order for a grandparent to establish, or prove, that a substantial relationship exists, a grandparent needs to show: 1.) The number of times they visited the child, or how often they have been involved in the child’s life; 2.) The events or activities that the grandparent attended or is involved in with the minor child and the frequency of that involvement; 3.) The frequency of contact that a grandparent has with the grandchild(ren), such as contact by telephone, text, email, etc.; 4.) The bond that a grandparent has with the grandchild, for instance, does the grandparent provide childcare for the child, or take care of the child on a regular basis.

Because Kansas courts recognize “parental preference”, meaning a parent’s right to deny third-party visitation, it is critical to prove to a court that visits would be in your grandchild’s best interests. Family courts give special weight to a parent’s opinion on visitation. In order to defeat this, you must show that a parent is being unreasonable in denying visitation with your grandchild.

Grandparent's RightsKansasSpecial Considerations

  • There may be a financial risk to seeking visitation of your grandchild if a court feels that the request is unreasonable. Meaning, you may be liable for attorney fees/legal costs if your request is unreasonable. However, if a court finds that the denial of visitation was unreasonable, but the court does not agree that visitation would be in the best interests of your grandchild, then a court will not award attorney’s fees/legal costs.
  • The parents of your grandchild do not need to have been married to request for visitation of your grandchild. However, the situation needs to fall within the parameters discussed above to seek visitation of your grandchild.
  • You do not need to be a biological relative of your grandchild to seek visitation with your grandchild. However, you do need to be a legal parent of one of the child’s parents in order to seek visitation (i.e. adoptive parent).
  • Grandparent’s rights originate from a legal parent’s rights. If both parents are deceased and the child is adopted, your grandparent’s rights terminate upon adoption.
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