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Grandparents' Rights


Research is needed to determine who petitions for visitation, what problems lead families to petition for grandparental visitation, and what are the long-term consequences of grandparental litigation on family and child development (i.e., family processes, socioemotional development in children, and family economic well-being). Because U.S. grandparents' rights are based on state statutes, social scientists should address the question of what the legal issues are across states. Additional investigation is needed to determine if Canadian courts will follow U.S. courts' tendency toward guarding the rights of parents over that of grandchildren or grandparents. Regardless of the country, if grandparental visitation is awarded, how courts require grandparents to provide for the care and economic support of their grandchildren remains a viable area of study.


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Foster, H. H., and Freed, D. J. (1984). "The Child's Right to Visit Grandparents: An Emerging Question of Visitation Rights." Trial 18:38–45.

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Kruk, E. (1995). "Grandparent-Grandchild Loss: Findings from a Study of 'Grandparent Rights' Members." Canadian Journal on Aging 14:737–754.

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Walther, D. L. (1997). "Survey of Grandparents Visitation Rights." American Journal of Family Law 11:95–107.


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Hicks v. Enlow. (1989). Ky., 764 S.W.2d 68.

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McMain v. Iowa District Court for Polk County. (1997). 559 N.W.2d 12. (1997 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 60). Available from http://web.lexis-nexis.com.

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Sparks v. Sparks. (2001). A. C. W. S. J. LEXIS 15624; 2001 A. C. W. S. J. 613317; 106 A. C. W. S. (3d) 278. Available from http://web.lexis-nexis.com.

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Steward v. Steward. (1995). 111 Nev. 259; 890 P.2d 777; 1995 Nev. LEXIS 17. Available from http://web. lexis-nexis.com.

Troxel v. Granville. (2000). 120 S. Ct. 2054 U. S. LEXIS 3767; 147 L. Ed. 2d 49; 68 U. S. L. W. 4458; 2000 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4345; 2000 Daily Journal DAR 5831; 12 Fla. W. Fed. S. 365. Available from http://web. lexis-nexis.com.

Ward v. Ward. (1987). Del. Fam. Ct., 537 A.2d 1063.

Wisconsin v. Yoder. (1972). 406 U.S. 205.

Other Resource

Bohl, J. C. (1996). "The Unprecedented Intrusion: A Survey and Analysis of Selected Grandparent Visitation Cases." Oklahoma Law Review 29:1–18. Available from http://web.lexis-nexis.com.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelatives & Extended FamilyGrandparents' Rights - Grandparent Visitation Rights In The United States, Grandparent Visitation Rights In Canada, Conclusion