Grandparent Custody Visitation In Maine

Grandparent Custody Visitation In Maine

In Maine, addressing the custodial placement of children with persons other than a biological parent is not impossible. Maine defines ‘Grandparent’ as follows:

Grandparent is a biological or adoptive parent of a child’s biological or adoptive parent. including any parent whose rights have been terminated.

Legal Standing in Maine

Grandparents have legal standing in Maine to petition for visitation rights with a minor child. A grandparent of a minor child may petition the court for reasonable rights of visitation or access if (a) at least one of the child’s parents or legal guardians has died; (b) there is a sufficient existing relationship between the grandparent and the child; or (c) when a sufficient existing relationship between the grandparent and the child does not exist, and a sufficient effort to establish one has been made.

The court may grant a Grandparent reasonable rights of visitation or access to a minor child upon finding that rights of visitation or access are in the best interest of the child and those rights would not significantly interfere with any parent-child relationship or with the parent’s rightful authority over the child.  Among other things, the Court shall consider:

–       The age of the child;

–       The relationship of the child with the child’s grandparents;

–       The duration and adequacy of the child’s current living arrangements;

–       The stability of any proposed living arrangements for the child;

–       The motivation of the parties involved and their capacities to give the child love, affection and guidance;

–       The child’s adjustment to the child’s present home, school and community; and

–       The capacity of the parent and grandparent to cooperate or to learn to cooperate in child care.

The court will also consider the parties willingness to cooperate and resolve disputes, and any factors having a reasonable bearing on the physical and mental well-being of the child. The court may review the backgrounds of grandparents for the existence of any convictions of any kind when determining visitation rights.

Grandparent’s Custody Petition

In Maine, a Grandparent may file a petition for rights of visitation with an affidavit alleging a sufficient existing relationship with the child. The parent or legal guardian of the child may file an affidavit in response to the Grandparent’s petition.  Next, the court reviews the petition and any affidavits filed by the parties to determine whether there is a sufficient existing relationship or, or that effort to establish one has been made. Finally, the court will hold a hearing on the Grandparent’s petition for visitation.  The objections the adverse parents or legal guardians will also be taken under advisement.  The court shall also consider the report of any Court appointed guardian ad litem.  At any time after an Order for visitation is granted to the Grandparents, the court may modify or terminate any rights granted as circumstances require.  The court may issue any orders necessary to enforce its ruling or to protect the rights of parties.

Note:  The foregoing information is provided as general family law guidelines in Maine and should not be considered as legal advice specific to your case.  After reviewing the above material, you will be presented with the opportunity to submit more details specific to your case directly to About The Children.

Submitted by Linda O’Marie, Paralegal

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Posted in Grandparent rights, Maine Guidelines

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