Questions About Grandparent Visitation
I am a grandparent / step-parent / aunt and am being denied contact with my grandchildren / step-child / nephew-niece. Can I seek visitation rights from the court?
Washington state allows grandparents and stepfamily members to seek an order to obtain visits with a child who is not their offspring.
Among other factors, one must have an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child and the child must be likely to suffer harm or substantial risk of harm if visitation is denied. In King County, the Chief Unified Family Court (UFC) Judge will conduct a closed review hearing to determine whether such a request will go forward.
Family law issues of visitation can be complex. If you have questions regarding visitation rights, call our office for a free consultation.
I am an Uncle/Aunt, can I seek visitation rights from the court for my nephew/niece?
Yes. Washington State allows any blood relative, including first cousins, second cousins, nephews or nieces, among others to seek visitation, so long as there is an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child, and if the child will likely suffer harm if visitation is denied.
I am a relative and the child in question is adopted. Can I still petition for visitation?
Yes. Legally, there is no distinction between biological or adopted children.
I divorced the child’s aunt/uncle. Can I still seek visitation rights?
Yes. A former spouse can still petition for visitation rights even after the marriage is terminated.
I had significant relationship with the child, but I am not a family member. Can I seek visitation rights?
No. However, you may have other rights as a third party under nonparental rights for child custody.Such situations are complex, and we recommend contacting our office should you need custody intervention.