The United States Supreme Court, while passing the judgement over Troxel v Granville trial, made a landmark decision concerned with the visitation rights of grandparents. According to the decision taken by the Supreme Court in this case, it is the fundamental right of the parent to care for the children and have control of their children. At the same time, it stated that no law can set standards for visitation rights of grandparents. They must be applied on a case-by-case basis. The court declared the non-parent visitation statute of Washington as unconstitutional infringement of parentsí rights to make decisions regarding their children.
Although the court did not provide any special benefits to the grandparents, it advised the parents to have a liberal attitude and work towards developing a bonding between the grandparents and their grandchildren. The court acknowledged the parental role was being taken over by grandparents in many families.
After the decision taken by the US Supreme Court in Troxel case, the grandparentsí visitation rights are being determined based on the best interests of the grandchildren. All 50 states in the United States have statutes for grandparent visitation. Although many scholars feel that there would be least impact of the decision taken in the Troxel case, the state courts have a different opinion. According to them, as constitutional challenges for confrontation of the third-party visitation rights statutes increases, more number of statutes will be declared unconstitutional. There is no legal uniformity pertaining to grandparent visitation rights in the US considering all the exceptions that can arise. According to the statutes, in cases of troubled family situations, the courts must legally permit the grandparents to continue their loving relation with their grandchildren. Factors such as the relationship between the child and the grandparent, and the nature of parentsí objection determine the grandparent visitation rights and child custody for grandparents.
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