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Home Self Help Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation
Home Self Help Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation
Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation
These standard instructions are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice about your case. If you choose to represent yourself, you are bound by the same rules and procedures as an attorney.

  • I am a grandparent or great-grandparent. How do I ask for visitation so I can see my grandchild or great-grandchild?
    • 1. Decide if you can start a case.
      • * Any grandparent or great-grandparent may ask the court for visitation if the grandchild or great-child is a part of one of the following cases:

        1.  Divorce of the child's parents or dissolution of a parent's civil union.

        2.  Legal separation of the child's parents.

        3.  Annulment of a parent's marriage or civil union

        4.  Child custody

        5.  Paternity

        6.  A probate case where a child's parent has died or someone is acting as a guardian or managing the finances of the child.

         

        * A grandparent or great-grandparent cannot ask the court for visitation if:

        1.  The parental rights of the child's parents have been terminated.

        2.  The child has been placed for adoption or the adoption has been legally finalized.

         

        * Note:  No grandparent or great-grandparent may seek an order granting visitation more than once every two years unless approved by the court.

         

         

    • 2. Identify where to file your paperwork.
      • * You must file your paperwork in the county where the original case is located.

    • 3. Fill out the forms and mail or hand-deliver a copy to the child's parents and anyone else who is part of the case that you are submitting your paperwork in.
      • Download and complete these forms:
        * JDF 1704 Motion to Intervene,
        * JDF 1705 Order to Intervene,
        * JDF 1701 Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation, and
        * JDF 1702 Order for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation

        JDF 1700 Instructions to File for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation gives additional details on how to fill out these forms.

        Here are some tips that should help you complete the forms:

        (a) Use the case number from the existing case that the child is part of.

        (b) You will be known as the Intervenor when you complete your forms. This means that you are not part of the existing case, but you are asking the court to be part of the case.

        (c) The parents of the child will be identified as the Petitioner and Co-Petitioner or Respondent.  Identify the parents in the top part of your forms in the same way that they are identified in the existing case involving the child.

        (d) In the top part of your forms where it says "Parental Responsibilities Concerning ______", you will enter the child's name.

        (e) Fill out only the top ("caption") part of  JDF 1702 Order for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation and  JDF 1705 Order to Intervene.  The court will fill out the rest.

        (f) You must sign JDF 1701 Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation in front of a notary public or court clerk at the courthouse where you will file your case. You can find a local notary public by looking in the Yellow Pages, on the Internet, or by going to your local bank.

        * After you complete your forms, you will need to mail or hand-deliver a copy of JDF 1701 Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation, and JDF 1704 Motion to Intervene to the child's parents and any other people named in the paperwork who are part of the case before you give your paperwork to the court.

         

         

         

    • 4. File your completed forms with the court.
      • * Take your completed forms to the clerk at the courthouse.

        * JDF 1704 Motion to Intervene,
        * JDF 1705 Order to Intervene,
        * JDF 1701 Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation, and
        * JDF 1702 Order for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation

        * You will need to pay a filing fee at the time you give your forms to the clerk.   If you do not think you can afford the filing fee, go to the instructions and fill out form JDF 205 Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit and the caption box of JDF 206 Finding and Order Concerning Payment of Fees to request a waiver of the filing fee.

  • How do I Answer if I Receive Papers asking for Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Visitation?
    • 1. Read the paperwork.
      • * Decide whether or not you agree with the information in the paperwork.

    • 2. Identify where you should file your paperwork to answer.
      • * The location and contact information of the court where the grandparent or great-grandparent visitation case was filed is on the top of the paperwork you received.

        * Give your paperwork to the same court that is listed on the paperwork you received.  This is also the same case number that you were a part of originally, for example, your divorce or child custody case.

    • 3. Fill out the Response form and mail or hand-deliver a copy to the grandparents or great-grandparents.
      • * Download and complete JDF 1315 Response.

        * You and the other parent will have the same identities as you do in the existing case. For example, if you are the Petitioner in the existing case, you will be the "Petitioner" when you file your response form.  The grandparent or great-grandparent will be identified as the Intervenor which means they are not part of the case, but they are asking the court if they can be a part of the case.

        * The case number is on the top of the paperwork you received. Use that same number on your response form.  This is also the same case number that you were a part of originally, for example, your divorce or child custody case.

        * Mail or hand-deliver a copy of JDF 1315 Response to the grandparents or great-grandparents, and anyone else who is part of the case. After you mail or hand deliver JDF 1315 Response, complete the Certificate of Service part of the form before filing the form with the court.

    • 4. File your response form with the court.
      • * Take your completed  JDF 1315 Response to the clerk at the courthouse.

         

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