Getting a divorce is never easy. It can be even more difficult when dealing with adversity from your in-laws. Your in-laws may create conflict if they feel they aren't seeing your children as often as they should. In some states, grandparents can even try to file for visitation rights, more commonly known as grandparents' rights. It's important to know how to protect yourself if this ever happens to you. This guide will show you what to do in that situation.
First and foremost, you need to secure a good lawyer. If you're going through a divorce or recently got divorced, you probably already have a family lawyer that you know. You can use the same one for this case. Explain the situation to them, give them any legal documents you have received from the opposing side, and let them decide if they want to take the case. If they do, they'll advise you on the next steps.
Like any other legal battle, documenting is your best friend. Document everything, even if you think it isn't important. You will be surprised at all the evidence required in cases like this. If you have already experienced a custody battle, you know this is true. Here are some things you can document and bring to court:
- Phone records
- Evidence of visits or lack thereof
- Legal documents like living wills
Basically, you want anything that shows the type of relationship your children have with their grandparents. A living will signed by both parents showing that the kids should have no relationship with the grandparents is the best way to win the case.
In some instances, the children are legally old enough to decide what type of relationship they want with the in-laws. The court will take that into consideration. Be advised, if you go this route, you might not like the outcome. Children usually don't see toxic relationships like adults do. You have to know the boundaries when you try to explain the situation to them in terms they can understand.
Be prepared to fight if you are faced with a legal battle with your in-laws. Preparation goes a long way in every court case. Listen to everything your lawyer tells you. They have your best interests at heart and know the grandparents' rights laws in your state. Expect a total dissolution of the in-laws' relationship if they lose the case.
For more information, reach out to a family law attorney today.