Grandparent Visitation in Maryland

Grandparents play an important role in many families, especially when it comes to helping with raising their grandchildren. But when the child’s parents file for divorce, it is not uncommon for grandparents to seek visitation time in order to continue having a lasting and loving relationship with their grandchild. 

In Maryland, grandparents can legally ask for reasonable visitation with their grandchildren at any time. They must prove to the court that the proposed time is in the best interests of the child. 

However, the court automatically assumes that parents act in their children’s best interests and their preferences on who is allowed to spend time with their kids are given great weight. So, if the child’s parents do not approve of grandparent visitation, grandparents must overcome this legal presumption by (1) showing that the parent is “unfit” (or cannot make sound parenting decisions) and/or the child would suffer harm (e.g., abuse, neglect, etc.) without visitation time. Once a grandparent overcomes this legal presumption, then he/she must show that regular contact between himself/herself and the child is in the child’s best interests. 

The following are the steps to seek grandparent visitation in Maryland: 

  • Write a petition that contains the proposed schedule for court-ordered visitation 

  • File a petition or formal request in the court with a current custody and visitation order related to the child 

  • Notify all the parties involved about the petition 

Keep in mind, if one parent dies and the grandchild is adopted by another person other than a stepparent, then any grandparent visitation order is automatically terminated and given to the adoptive grandparents. However, the current order could remain if the adopted parents agree to it. 

If you are interested in obtaining grandparent visitation in Annapolis, contact the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis today at (410) 593-0040 for a free phone consultation. More than 25 years of experience helping families throughout Maryland! 

Categories: