Grandparents rights in Idaho have been ignored or have not been adequately exercised because of the ignorance of the laws. Thus, if you are a grandparent living in Idaho, read this article to get a gist of all the rights and laws related to custody, visitation and adoption.

Grandparents’ ability to give a positive and stable environment is recognized under Idaho family law. An environment capable of providing leadership and a parenting platform, which so many youngsters sorely require. Even if they just spend a short amount of time with their grandparents, grandchildren can get the comfort and stability that children crave on a regular basis.

Grandchildren are exposed to a wide range of situations. Some are raised in a happy, stable home, and grandparents are either refused access to their grandkids or have very limited interaction with them. On the other end of the scale is a scenario that requires immediate attention.

The Idaho justice system will move promptly and strongly on your side if you can prove your grandchildren are living in an abusive and neglectful home. Do not believe for a second that your rights as grandparents will be constrained or reduced. Remember that in Idaho, the “best interest of the children” criteria are completely recognized and accepted.

What Are Grandparents Rights in Idaho?

Grandparents in Idaho have the legal right to ask for assistance for the following:

  • Visitation: Grandparents can be granted a court-ordered visitation with their grandkids or great-grandchildren.
  • Parenting Power of Attorney: Allows grandparents to make decisions on behalf of their grandchildren.
  • Custody: Grandparents may be granted temporary, permanent, or de facto custody if they are providing a stable home for the child and it is in the best interests of the child.
  • Guardianship: Allows grandparents to make legal choices on behalf of their grandchildren.
  • Adoption: Grandparents may permanently adopt a child after parental rights have been removed, either willingly or by court decision.

Besides this, you can submit a petition for an Idaho child protection proceeding if your grandkids are being abused or neglected. If there is abuse, neglect, or impending danger, child protective services may order the children to be removed from their homes and placed in protective custody.

Typically, a child protection case is followed by a series of court appearances. To assess if the claims are real, a fact-finding court hearing will be scheduled.

If the child has been neglected or mistreated, a dispositional hearing will be held to determine what should be done. Finally, a permanency hearing will take place to establish and finalize the children’s permanent placement and security.

Visiting Rights for Grandparents

Grandparents in Idaho have the legal right to ask for court-ordered visits with their grandkids. Grandparents could attempt to exercise this privilege at any time, including during or after a divorce, separation, and/or the death of either parent.

According to grandparent visitation laws, visiting rights are not a guaranteed right that you will be able to see your grandchildren. The reason for this is that parents have a basic right to make decisions about their children’s care, custody and control, including who can visit them. Some cases are Troxel v. Granville, Leavitt v. Leavitt, 142 Idaho 664.

A grandparent can file for grandparent rights with a court, but they will bear the burden of proof, or the responsibility to offer sufficient evidence that the proposition is in the best interests of the children and takes into account their health, safety, and general welfare.

Unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, an existing grandparent-grandchild relationship can be enough to prove that grandparent contact is in the best interests of the child.

Visitation Rights, Parents Rights and the Best Interest of the Child

Your grandchild’s parents may have a pattern of behavior problems before and after the child spends time with you, or their quarrel with you may create a stressful atmosphere for the child. Depending on the seriousness and truth of the opposing parent’s concerns, this type of information may be sufficient to persuade a judge that visitation is not in your grandchild’s best interests, despite your long-standing relationship.

Lastly, parents have a constitutionally protected “fundamental” right to raise their children and choose who they spend time with. If grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests, the court is not obligated to defer to the parents.

In other words, if you request visitation with your grandchild, the court may accept your request against the parent’s desires if the court determines that continued contact with you is in the best interests of the kid. The court, however, must demonstrate that the parent’s objections were given special consideration — and in general, a fit parent’s opinion is of the utmost importance.

How Can I Get Visitation Rights in Idaho?

There is no explicit portion of the Idaho Code that tells us what elements to consider when deciding whether grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests. Your relationship with your grandchild and what you’ve done to be a part of their lives will be considered by the court.

For instance, the court may take into account whether:

  • You phone, visit or otherwise spend time with your grandchild. How much time have you spent with them previously?
  • Have you ever been asked to care for a child for a long period of time by the child’s parents? Have you ever had the child live with you?
  • Have the child’s parents already requested your assistance?
  • Do you know what your grandson or granddaughter enjoys doing for fun? Do you have any idea what their hobbies and interests are?
  • Is it enjoyable for your grandchild to spend time with you?
  • Do you assist your grandchild with schoolwork or make an effort to assist him or her in learning?
  • Do you interfere with the parent-child relationship of the grandchild’s parents?
  • Do you criticize parenting decisions in front of your grandchild or their parents?
  • Do you ever force the child to choose between you and his or her parents?

In Idaho, both grandparents and great-grandparents have visitation privileges. Under Idaho’s grandparent visitation laws, great-grandparents can request scheduled time with their great-grandchildren. You’ll need to establish, much like a grandparent, that spending time with you is in the child’s best interests.

Grandparent’s Custody Rights in Idaho

Under certain conditions, a grandparent can petition the court for custody of their grandchildren. The grandparents don’t need to petition for guardianship or have the natural parents sign a parental power of attorney form. Grandparents can have legal standing with their grandchildren through various means such as guardianship, de facto custodianship, or a parental power of attorney.

Each approach has its own set of criteria as well as benefits and drawbacks. Idaho Code Sec 32-717 (3) says:

“In any case where the child is actually residing with a grandparent in a stable relationship, the court may recognize the grandparent as having the same standing as a parent for evaluating what custody arrangements are in the best interests of the child.”

During a divorce, the court considers a number of variables to determine the appropriate custody arrangement for a child, including:

  • the child’s wishes
  • the parent’s wishes
  • the child’s relationship with his or her parents, siblings, and other significant people
  • the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • the character and circumstances (mental and physical health) of all parties involved
  • the need to promote continuity and stability in the child’s life
  • any history of domestic violence

How Can I Get Custody of My Grandchild in Idaho?

Unless a grandparent wants custody during a divorce proceeding and a judge establishes they have a meaningful relationship with their grandchild and have been functioning as the child’s temporary caretaker, Idaho courts presume custody with a biological or legal parent is in the child’s best interests.

If your grandchild’s parents are divorcing, you can ask for custody if the child has been living with you and you have a close relationship with the youngster. If the natural parents object, the court will weigh the aforementioned reasons in deciding between the opposing requests, focusing on which custodial arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

You must file a petitiona formal, written request — in the district court of the child’s home county. You can approach the court to alter or enforce a grandparent custody order or if you desire extra time or the child’s parent is blocking you from visiting.

Conclusion

When it comes to whom the child is associated with, the court pays close attention to the parents’ desires, and the court will consider why the parents do not want a grandmother or grandfather to visit with the grandchild. The court may also take into account anything that has occurred between you and your parents that is relevant to your visitation.

We conclude the following after reading this article:

  • Grandparents in Idaho have the legal right to ask for assistance for visitation, custody, guardianship, and adoption.
  • Grandparents in Idaho have the legal right to ask for court-ordered visits with their grandkids. Grandparents can generally attempt to exercise this privilege at any time, including during or after a divorce, separation or the death of either parent.
  • If your grandchild’s parents are divorcing, you can ask for custody if the child has been living with you and you have a close relationship with the youngster.
  • You must file a petition in the district court of the child’s home county to ask for any of the above-mentioned privileges.

We hope that you can now make legally informed choices and exercise your custody and visitation rights.

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