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The visitation rights of grandparents in Oklahoma

If you are like most Oklahoma grandparents, you place a high value on time spent with your grandchildren. You probably would grieve if this time was lost to you. Fortunately, lawmakers also believe that the relationship between grandparents and grandkids is worth preserving.

There are many reasons a breakdown in this relationship might occur. The important thing to remember is that you likely have visitation rights as a grandparent. In fact, only under extreme circumstances would your visitation rights disappear.

Under Oklahoma legislature, grandparents may seek "reasonable visitation" rights as long as the visitations would serve to meet the child's best interests. In most families, grandparents are welcome to spend time with the children. However, when a family breakdown has occurred, some grandparents find their time with the children reduced or even denied altogether.

Below are a few examples in which a grandparent may need to seek a legal means of visiting their grandchildren.

-- The incarceration of one of the child's parents interferes with the grandparent relationship.

-- The child's parents are unfit to care for the child.

-- The child's parents have initiated a divorce or annulment.

-- The child's parent (the grandparent's child) passes away.

-- The child would be harmed or potentially harmed if grandparent contact was taken away.

If you have lost contact with your grandchildren and want to seek visitation, a family law attorney may be able to help. Together, you can work with Oklahoma's family laws to continue or rebuild this important relationship. The court will look at many factors when considering your request, but with strong legal representation, you have a very good chance of finding success.

Source: Oklahoma State University, College of Human Sciences, "Grandparent Visitation Rights," accessed Jan. 26, 2017

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