In Iowa, grandparents do have an opportunity to request visitation through the Courts; however, this is a very limited right and there are substantial difficulties associated with establishing this right. The Courts have consistently upheld the rights of fit parents to make decisions regarding the care and custody of their children. Therefore, the Courts will often defer to the parents judgment in determining who their children will maintain contact with and under what circumstances. In fact, Iowa Courts recognize a rebuttable presumption that a fit parent's decision to deny visitation to a grandparent or great-grandparent is in the best interest of a minor child
However, grandparents can request that the Court intervene to grant them visitation in limited circumstances. To accomplish this the grandparents must petition the Court and show by clear and convincing evidence all of the following three things:
1) The grandparent has an established a substantial relationship with the child;
2) The parent who is being asked to temporarily relinquish care, custody, and control of the child to provide visitation is unfit to make the decision regarding visitation; and
3) It is in the best interest of the child to grand visitation.
Although establishing your grandparent rights to visitation in Iowa can be a challenge, there are still options available. If you believe that your situation can meet the requirements discussed above, please contact the family law attorneys at Goosmann Law Firm to explore your options at firstname.lastname@example.org or (712)-226-4000.