For Grandparents

As grandparents, you have rights too

Grandchildren are one of life’s most precious gifts, but family life can be messy. Your son or daughter may not be capable of parenting, or maybe something has happened, and they are no longer granting you access to your grandchild. 

 

Washington State has long recognized that a grandparent relationship is generally in the best interests of the child. But what are your rights as a grandparent, and how can we help?

ALLOWING VISITS

Visitation

 

It can be heartbreaking to learn that one or both of your grandchild’s parents no longer wants you to have a relationship with them. If you have an ongoing and substantial relationship with your grandchild, you may be able to ask the court to step in and allow visits between you and the child. 

 

The law has been evolving on the issue of grandparent visitation in Washington, with parents having strong constitutional rights to parent their children. The grandparent must show that denial of the visitation would result in harm to the child. One of our skilled family law attorneys can help you understand the legal system and navigate your options while working hard to reduce conflict.

PROVIDING A LOVING, STABLE HOME

Guardian of a Minor


If you believe your grandchild’s parents cannot appropriately tend to their needs, you can petition to be the guardian of a minor. You may be a well-qualified candidate for this role as you probably share culture, traditions, have a strong relationship with the child, and could provide a loving, stable home. But to pursue guardianship, you must be willing to swear to the court that the parents, and this could include your own child, is unable or unwilling to parent.


Such Assertions of Failure Might Include:

  • Maintaining a loving, stable, consistent, and nurturing relationship with the child
  • Attending to the daily needs of the child, such as feeding, clothing, physical care and grooming, supervision, health care, and day care, and engaging in other activities which are appropriate to the developmental level of the child and that are within the social and economic circumstances of the particular family
  • Attending to adequate education of the child, including remedial or other education essential to the best interests of the child
  • Assisting the child in developing and maintaining appropriate interpersonal relationships
  • Exercising appropriate judgment regarding the child’s welfare, consistent with the child’s developmental level and the family’s social and economic circumstances
  • Providing for the financial support of the child

If you are considering guardianship of a minor, it is essential to retain a skilled, experienced attorney who can educate you on the laws and your rights. The laws are complex, and the process can be daunting, but if your family is your first priority, we will stand by your side and help you ensure their future success.

SUPPORTING A POSITIVE OUTCOME

Your Role in Your Child’s Divorce

 

If your son or daughter has confided in you that they will be divorcing, it may be hard not to want to swoop in and “fix” it. After all, your job has been to make sure they are successful in the world. 

 

One of the most important things you can do is listen. Any shock, dismay, or disappointment should be contained. Regardless of who leaves whom, you do not want to pick sides and paint the other person as a villain. Life happens, divorce happens, and if there are kids involved, you want to do everything you can to help minimize conflict between the parents and support a positive outcome that keeps the kid’s long-term success your primary objective.

 

Did we say listen? You may find yourself doing a lot of listening. Your child will likely go through a period of mourning  and experience a number of emotional states before coming to acceptance. They may even take some of their emotions out on you because you have and always will be there. Try not to take it personally. If they need your support, offer whatever assistance you can.

 

You cannot fight this battle for them. Our best advice is to stay the course of the supportive parent who wants what is best for their child and family. They will heal, and you will have further strengthened your relationship.

PEACE OF MIND

Estate Planning


The investment you make in comprehensive estate planning will allow you to secure your legacy through the distribution of your assets to your grandchildren. Our team of professional estate planning attorneys can help create and maintain an estate plan that gives you peace of mind.

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