When parents are fighting for primary custody of a child, often grandparents (and great-grandparents) are required to sit back and wait to find out when they will be able to see their grandchildren. 

It is typically expected that grandparents will spend time with their grandchildren on the grandparents’ son’s or daughter’s parenting time.  South Dakota’s exception to this general rule is to have the Court issue an order awarding grandparent visitation.

An award of grandparent visitation is always subject to the Court’s weighing of the best interests of the child.  Additionally, the Court will consider whether grandparent visitation will interfere with the parent-child relationship, or if one parent has denied or prevented reasonable visitation with grandparents.  The Court can award grandparent visitation with or without a specific request from the grandparents, and an award of grandparent visitation can be enforced by the Court using any order that may be necessary to protect visitation. 

In all custody matters, it is always best to try and work with the other parent to come to an agreement on a visitation schedule that will work for both sides and allow for grandparents to continue to play a role in the lives of their grandchildren. For questions regarding grandparent visitation, contact a Goosmann Law attorney at the Sioux Falls, Sioux City, or Omaha office today.


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