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North Dakota grandparents sue son to see grandchildren

Attorneys and family experts report that cases of grandparents suing for the right to see their grandchildren have grown partly because of rising divorce rates. Many grandparents have appealed for visitation when a former daughter -- or son-in-law -- has prohibited them to see the grandchildren.

In North Dakota, a court must grant visitation rights unless the court determines that visitation would not be in the child's best interest. The amount of contact between the child, the grandparent, and the parent are issues to be weighed when determining the child's best interest.

A North Dakota couple is objecting to a family law ruling giving the parents the right to spend time with their grandchildren. The grandparents have sued their son and the children's mother after a former mediation attempt to work out visitation had been unsuccessful.

A local judge issued an order to the parents of the children to allow their oldest daughter to visit her grandparents when she wants to, including overnight visits. The 16-year-old granddaughter had lived with her grandparents for a year and a half while her father served time for a drug conviction. The court mandate also required that the grandparents be allowed to spend at least four hours with the older 16-year-old girl and the two younger children on the children's and the grandparents' birthdays, as well as on Grandparents' Day, Easter Sunday, five days over the summer, three days during Christmas and one day over Thanksgiving.

The parents are appealing specifics in the court order. The parents feel that they should be the sole authority for what is in the best interests of their children. Over the past two decades, these often acrimonious cases have flowed into courtrooms, causing each state to develop laws to decide how and when grandparents and others can seek visitation. At issue is whether fit parents can be forced by law to allow grandparents visits with the children. Whether grandparents find themselves in a situation where they must establish formal, legal rights to a child, or if the grandparent merely wants to visit with their grandchildren, they will often need an experienced North Dakota family law attorney to help them navigate the legal system.

minotdailynews.com, "ND grandparents sue to visit their grandchildren" No author given, Aug. 26, 2013

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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