Hagerstown, MD asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland

Q: I want to get visitation right to see my nephew the grandmother have temporarily custody and she won't let me see her.

How do I go about getting visitation rights to see him

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: This is a bit complicated. Generally speaking, the only persons absolutely entitled to visitation/access are the parents of the child, but if one or both parents are out of the picture (deceased, in jail, mentally incapacitated, or abandoned the child, etc.), then typically grandparents or sometimes other family members related to the absent parent can either petition for custody or visitation (depending on whether neither natural parent is present or involved). However, once one parent or relative is granted custody, or a relative from the other parent's side of the family is granted visitation rights, other members on that side of the family are generally subject to that person's decision as to who has access when the child is in their custody. In other words, there are only two parents or persons acting as a substitute parent for the child. A judge makes the determination as to custody and visitation, and just because you are related to the child (except as the actual parent) does not give you any legal right to have access to the child. It is generally accepted that a child's best interest is served by having a relationship with both parents, and in the absence of one parent, then a responsible person from the absent parent's side of the family, but that can depend on the reason for the parent's absence.

Timothy E. Howie
Timothy E. Howie
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Hanover,, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Your issue is a complicated issue because it involves visitation/custody by two third-party persons who are not biological parents. For your question to be properly answered, you will need to meet with a family law attorney who will interview you at length to become aware of all of the facts of your matter, and then advise you accordingly.

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