Overview: Grandparents’ Rights
Grandparents’ rights are derived neither out of the constitution, nor were they bequeathed via Common law (Bricklin & Elliot, 2007). My personal opinion is that these rights are but overzealous interpretations of the philosophy of rights – very dearly relevant in our country. Today, each state has some semblance of Grandparents’ rights, slightly or very different from others though there are a fair few tenets and themes that are shared – and it has been about 35 years since they were first enacted (Strauss, 1996).
Grandparents’ rights add to the already present chaos in the legal hemisphere around a child, especially one happy with its parents – to the extent that the federal government had to get involved a few years back. While it is easy to see the relevance of Grandparents’ rights when there is genuine abuse on an indefensible child perpetrated by the people in custody – parents, the entire affair doesn’t fall short of parody at most other times. I would argue along the lines of unconstitutionality and the sheer redundancy of these “meltdowns” in the legal process.
The chaos perpetrated by multihued interpretations and the variances in state instituted Grandparents’ rights mandated federal intervention. Especially relevant are the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 which forces each state to “put faith” and “give credit” to child custody decrees of other states – a kind of a UCC like setup (Slorah, 2003).
Another legislation taken out in 1998 by the federal government forces states to recognize and enforce Grandparents’ visitation orders granted by courts of other states. Every state has adopted in some form the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act – the UCCJEA.
Position of Courts
The position of courts has been unequivocally against...