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    Default Grandparent Rights if Parental Rights Are Terminated

    My question involves grandparents rights in the State of: CT

    My ex husbands rights have been terminated. He was never involved in my sons life -- physically, emotionally, financially. My current husband has adopted my son and my son knows him as dad. My current inlaws recognize my son as their grandson, and he sees them as his grandparents. can my ex father in law take me to court for visitation?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grandparent Rights if Parental Rights Are Terminated

    Connecticut has passed this extremely broad statute:
    Quote Quoting Connecticut Statutes, Sec. 46b-59. Court may grant right of visitation to any person.
    The Superior Court may grant the right of visitation with respect to any minor child or children to any person, upon an application of such person. Such order shall be according to the court's best judgment upon the facts of the case and subject to such conditions and limitations as it deems equitable, provided the grant of such visitation rights shall not be contingent upon any order of financial support by the court. In making, modifying or terminating such an order, the court shall be guided by the best interest of the child, giving consideration to the wishes of such child if he is of sufficient age and capable of forming an intelligent opinion. Visitation rights granted in accordance with this section shall not be deemed to have created parental rights in the person or persons to whom such visitation rights are granted. The grant of such visitation rights shall not prevent any court of competent jurisdiction from thereafter acting upon the custody of such child, the parental rights with respect to such child or the adoption of such child and any such court may include in its decree an order terminating such visitation rights.
    If applied as written, that statute's unconstitutionally broad. But it opens the door for any third party to seek visitation in the child's best interest. The motion presumably will be evaluated under the standard of Troxel v Granville, such that the party bringing the motion should only be able to prevail against your wishes if they show that visitation would be in the best interest of the minor child and also that the child will suffer harm if visitation is denied. Depending upon the age of the child, the child's preference (if made known to the court) could potentially be taken into consideration. A local family lawyer would be better situated to tell you exactly how the courts of your state are presently applying that statute.

    Speaking in general terms, if after a post-termination of rights case (even if only in the context of a stepparent adoption) the biological grandparents came to me and said, "We're getting visitation right now, but should we bring a legal action to compel it in case the parents change their mind," I would caution them that many parents respond to a suit by cutting off access and that the odds will be against them in court.

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