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When may grandparent visitation be awarded in Mississippi?

The time spent between a grandparent and grandchild is special to both parties. However, sometimes, after an acrimonious divorce or for other reasons, this bond is severed and the grandparent is being kept away from his or her grandchild. But, per Mississippi Code section 93-16-3, there are a number of circumstances in which a grandparent may be awarded visitation rights.

First of all, the grandparent and grandchild must have a "viable relationship" with each other, and the grandparent is being unreasonably denied access to the child by the child's parent. Having a "viable relationship" can mean several things. It can mean that the grandparents have both in good faith and voluntarily provided financial support for the child for at least six months prior to pursuing visitation rights.

Alternatively, it can mean that the grandparents had frequent access to the child -- including sleep-overs -- for at least one year. In addition, it can mean that the child was cared for by his or her grandparents, either because the child's parent was on military duty or incarcerated. Also, in addition to one of the above requirements, the court must find that grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child.

Other circumstances in which grandparent parent visitation may be ordered is if the child's parent did not get custody of the child, the parent's parental rights were terminated, or the parent has passed away. In these situations, grandparents may be awarded visitation with their grandchild.

Whether it is time spent baking cookies, playing checkers or going fishing, it is important for a child to have the opportunity to forge a supportive and loving relationship with his or her grandparents. Grandparents in Mississippi, who want to seek visitation with their grandchild, may want to consult with an attorney, to determine what rights they have and how best to pursue them, as this post is for general informational purposes only.

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