Child Custody – Changes in Non-parental Visitation Rights


Effective June 7, a change in ‘Non-Parental Visitation Rights’ went into effect as a result of Senate Bill 5598 being signed into law earlier this year.  This law grants relatives, including but not limited to grandparents, the right to seek visitation with a child through the court system. 

What do these changes mean? 

  • Permits a non-parent relative who has an ongoing and substantial relationship with a child to request court-ordered visitation if the child risks substantial harm if visitation is denied
  • Requires a court hearing to consider the child's best interests, the risks, and benefits of visitation for the child, and reasons opposing visitation
  • Presumes a fit parent's decision denying visitation is in the child's best interests and does not risk substantial harm to the child, but permits a contrary ruling if evidence is clear and convincing

This new law is complicated and only allows a person to request visitation one time. If the request is denied by the court, the person may not ask again.

How JDSA Can Help

It's important to understand the necessary steps to take, and seek legal advice before filing a petition with the courts.  The Family Law attorneys at JDSA Law will help guide you through this complex process.  If you have questions or need advice, contact me, Jordan Miller, for assistance today.

Listen to our podcast — JDSA's Law Talk —  for more on this topic.