Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, January 15, 2010

Iowa Grandparents Seek More Rights

As Iowa state legislators resumed their work this week, they are facing calls to change the laws on grandparents’ visitation to favor the grandparent-grandchild relationship.  Of course, legislators will be somewhat restricted by the famous Supreme Court case limiting grandparents’ visitation, Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), available here.

From the Associated Press and The Des Moines Register:

Some family-law attorneys are calling for changes in Iowa law to make it easier for a court to grant grandparents face time — especially if one parent is dead.

Judy O'Donohoe, the Schwerins' Charles City attorney, is among those who believe state lawmakers can better balance children's needs for their grandparents and a parent's right to determine with whom their children associate and not run afoul of state and federal court decisions.

Current Iowa law is so strict it's almost impossible to get visitation, several lawyers said. Grandparents and great-grandparents have the right to ask the court for visits, but they have no shot at winning unless they can prove the custodial parent is "unfit" to make decisions about whom the child sees.

Court rulings don't require such a strict state law, advocates for change say. 

Read the full article here.


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Interesting post. I think it's pretty uncontroversial that grandparents tend to play an important role in a child's development. At the same time, the rights of parents need to be considered.

Whatever the substance of this proposed law, I think it's good that state legislatures are at least trying to address the issue.

Posted by: RustyShackleford | Jan 18, 2010 11:35:21 AM

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