Grandparent Rights in Utah Grandparent Rights

Grandparent Rights in Utah

If you are a grandparent seeking custody or visitation, it is important to understand your rights in light of recent developments in Utah laws. It is no longer enough to  demonstrate that a grandchild may benefit from grandparent involvement and that a grandparent would be a fit and proper guardian of a child, or that allowing the grandparent visitation would be in the best interests of the child. To compel a court to allow worthwhile grandparent interactions, a grandparent must essentially demonstrate that the grandchild will suffer harm if grandparent custody or visitation is not granted.

What Rights to Grandparents have in Salt Lake City

The answer to the above question depends on what rights the grandparents are seeking and the status of the parents of the minor children.  Depending on the circumstances, in Utah grandparents may be granted visitation with their grandchildren, they may serve as foster parents for their grandchildren, they may seek guardianship of their grandchildren and they may seek to become the adoptive parents of their grandchildren. A guardianship can be necessary for a number of reasons including a parent’s health, military duties which require the parent to be out of the country, school enrollment and parental unfitness.  A guardianship can be granted with the agreement of the parents, and it can be granted over the objection of the parents if a guardianship would be in the best interest of the child.  A guardianship can have long reaching effects and it is important to speak with an attorney before finalizing any guardianship.

Can Parents keep Grandparents from visiting their Grandchildren in Utah

In short yes, In recent years, Utah court decisions have placed limitations on when grandparents can get custody or visitation rights. In particular, there are limitations when one of the grandchild’s parents refuses to let the grandparents have access. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that there is a presumption that a fit parent’s decision regarding grandparents’ access to his or her child falls under their parental rights. Basically the parent’s decision is presumed to be valid. There are options however that can allow you to see your grand kids.


If you are in Salt Lake or Utah County we encourage you to contact Garner Law for an initial consultation where you’ll receive general divorce advice.