A Massachusetts grandmother from Hardwick has been granted visitation rights to speak to her 9-year-old granddaughter. It had been 2 years since the woman spoke to her granddaughter. The girl’s mother, also the grandmother’s daughter, died from a horseback riding accident in 2005. Since the mother’s death, the girl has been living with her father. The grandparents have been fighting for visitation rights because they were concerned about their grand-daughter’s well-being.
In the beginning, the grandparents were allowed to visit the girl. It was after they started to question the quality of care and calling the Department of Children and Families that the father refused to allow them to visit any longer. They have been fighting and battling in court for visitation rights ever since.
When the father remarried, his new wife adopted the girl. This added another setback to the grandparents’ visitation rights because a judge supposedly misread a state law, stating that once a child is adopted by a new parent, the other family is cut off legally. That means the grandmother is no longer the legal grandmother anymore.
Grandparents in Massachusetts are allowed visitation rights of a grandchild as long it’s in the best interests of the child. In this case, the judge is allowing the grandparents to talk by telephone with the granddaughter to see how it goes and then decide the next course of action. The court system supports families and visitation rights; however, it always comes down to what arrangement will best promote the health and well-being of the child involved.
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Judge agrees to allow grandmother, granddaughter visitation, Kim Ring, Dec. 2, 2013