Stay In Touch

Grandparents’ Rights

Rhode Island Family Law Attorney – 888.735.5076

A divorce can cause ramifications that impact more than just the two spouses ending their marriage, especially if it is a heated contested divorce. Children will clearly be affected but many people do not realize that a divorce can negatively impact grandparents. For some grandparents, it becomes next to impossible to visit their grandchildren due to the end result of the divorce or the undue restrictions of the parent that wins primary child custody.

In Rhode Island, grandparents do have inherent rights to see their grandchildren, even when a divorce has divided the family tree. If you require assistance with protecting your rights as a grandparent, you can rely on The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan and our Rhode Island divorce attorney.

View some of our accolades and accomplishments that set us apart:


Initial consultations are free – be sure to schedule your consultation today.


Rhode Island Laws on Grandparents’ Rights

Under Rhode Island family law statutes, grandparents do have specific claims to visitation rights. In some situations, they may even be able to assume custody for their grandchild, such as when domestic violence, neglect, or other forms of abuse are prevalent in the child’s current household.

In order to exercise grandparents’ rights, the following must occur:

  • The grandparent is physically and mentally capable of caring for a child.
  • The grandparent has made reasonable attempts to visit the grandchild within the last 3 months.
  • Unreasonable means were used by either parent to deny the grandparent visitation.
  • Alternative solutions have been explored and concluded without success.

In addition to the aforementioned conditions being met, it must be proven that it is within the child’s best interest to be visited by or live with their grandparent; this is a common trend among divorce and family law cases. Lastly, if both parents of the grandchild have passed away, it may be significantly easier for a grandparent to win custody rights.

Difference Between Legal Guardianship & Child Custody for Grandparents

Child custody provides rights for the parents of a child while legal guardianship provides similar rights to non-parental adults, like grandparents. Legal guardians have the right to make legal decisions for the child as well as provide for care for the grandchild.

Discover Your Rights & Defend Them

As a responsible grandparent, you actually have visitation and custody rights at all times, not only after your grandchild’s parents dissolve their marriage. To learn more about your rights and how to utilize them to your grandchild’s benefit, you can turn to our Rhode Island custody attorney. Call 888.735.5076 or contact our law firm online today.