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Massachusetts Grandparent Visitation

Grandparents relationships with their grandchildren vary. Some grandparents assist with the daycare of the grandchildren, some grandparents are 100% responsible for raising their grandchildren, some grandparents shower their grandchildren with presents and others only see their grandchildren on the holidays. This is not an exhaustive list of all grandparent and grandchildren relationships. What happens when the parents no longer grant the grandparents visitation with the grandchildren? Grandparents in Massachusetts have a legally recognizable right to visit with their grandchildren. Grandparents visitation rights are based on Massachusetts General Law Chapter 119 section 39D and supporting case law.

In order for a child to qualify for grandparent visitation the child’s parents must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Minor child’s parents are divorced;
  2. Minor child’s parents are married, but living apart;
  3. Minor child’s parents are subject to a temporary order or judgment of separate support;
  4. Either parent of the minor child is deceased;
  5. Minor child was born out of wedlock and his/her paternity has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  6. Minor child’s father signed an acknowledgement of paternity and the parents do not reside together; or
  7. Minor child’s maternal grandparents are seeking visitation and there is no adjudication or acknowledgment of paternity.

Additionally, the minor child cannot have been adopted by a person other than a stepparent of such child and any visitation rights granted prior to such adoption of the minor child shall be terminated upon such adoption without any further action of the court.

If you are a grandparent, satisfy the above requirements, and believe that you do not currently have reasonable visitation with your grandchild, contact The Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum to get the help you need.