South Carolina finally does grandparent visitation rights right

On June 9, 2014 Governor Nikki Haley signed into law House bill 4348 amending S.C. Code § 63-3-530 (A)(33), commonly known as the grandparent visitation statute. The new law is effective immediately.

This law makes it much easier for grandparents to obtain court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. As modified, subsection 33 now authorizes the family court:

to order visitation for the grandparent of a minor child where either or both parents of the minor child is or are deceased, or are divorced, or are living separate and apart in different habitats, if the court finds that:

(1) the child’s parents or guardians are unreasonably depriving the grandparent of the opportunity to visit with the child, including denying visitation of the minor child to the grandparent for a period exceeding ninety days; and

(2) awarding grandparent visitation would not interfere with the parent-child relationship; and:

(a) the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child’s parents or guardians are unfit; or

(b) the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that there are compelling circumstances to overcome the presumption that the parental decision is in the child’s best interest.

The judge presiding over this matter may award attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

For purposes of this item, “grandparent” means the natural or adoptive parent of a natural or adoptive parent of a minor child.

The previous statute required grandparents to have a “a relationship similar to a parent-child relationship with the minor child” as a condition of awarding visitation. Few grandparents could meet that requirement. The new statute offers many more grandparents the right to seek court-ordered visitation. Grandparents will still not be able to seek visitation when the child’s parents are living together. However when one or both parents are deceased, or the parents are divorced or not cohabiting, grandparents can seek visitation if such visitation would not interfere with the parent-child relationship and either the parents or guardians are unfit or there are compelling circumstances to overcome the presumption that the parental decision to deny such visitation is in the child’s best interests.

Further, where the previous statute made ninety days of denied visitation a prerequisite for seeking court-ordered visitation, the new statute merely makes that a basis to seek such court intervention. The new statute addresses the constitutional concerns of the United States Supreme Court decision in  Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 65-66 (2000), by requiring the proof of parental unfitness or compelling circumstances to be by clear and convincing evidence.

Prior to Troxel, South Carolina’s grandparent visitation statute unduly interfered with a parents liberty interests in raising their children without unwarranted government intervention. Family courts were routinely awarding grandparents autonomous visitation merely because the judge thought the child would benefit from spending time with a grandparent. An example of this can been seen in the family court’s award of grandparent visitation in Camburn v. Smith, 355 S.C. 574, 586 S.E.2d 565 (2003).  I actually had a case prior to Troxel in which a grandparent was so disruptive that the court would not authorize unsupervised visitation but the court–over my custodial parent’s objection–still ordered supervised visitation for that grandparent.

In contrast, the 2010 version of the statute was unduly restrictive. By limiting court-ordered grandparent visitation to situations in which only grandparents who had previously had a “parent-child” like relationship, it prevented grandparents from obtaining visitation in cases where court-ordered visitation was clearly appropriate. For example, from mere whim a parent could deny visitation to a grandparent whose own child died serving our country. Unless that grandparent had previously had a “parent-child” like relationship, the law did not provide that grandparent a remedy–effectively depriving that child of a relationship with the other half of his or her family.

The new statute strikes a proper balance between parents’ rights to raise their children free from unwarranted government intrusion and the ability of grandparents to have a relationship with their grandchildren when the child’s family is no longer intact and that grandparent is being unreasonably denied contact with the child.

Put Mr. Forman’s experience, knowledge, and dedication to your service for any of your South Carolina family law needs.

Retain Mr. Forman
  • Bryan W. Braddock

    I was present when the 2010 version went before the Senate subcommittee which conformed to Troxel (well, sort of, as seen below). A very carefully drafted bill was put up but, before they were done, the Senators decided to take the old language, take the new language, and just randomly mix it together, creating the unduly restrictive terms of that statute.

    However, I still have some issue with this statute. First of all, nothing in the Troxel decision limited this visitation right to grandparents. The right extended to all third parties. When the parents have allowed their child to develop such a close relationship with any third party, even someone not related, why should this standard not be applied to protect the child from harm? Why only protect a child’s relationship with the grandparents? Second, why can this only apply to parents who are not together? It has been my experience that there is a greater likelihood of one parent controlling the other and denying the third party access to the child unjustly when the parties are together. Frankly, if the parties are separated and yet the third party still cannot see the child, that means that the two parents, independently, are deciding to deny the visitation. That scenario should give the Court greater hesitation to overrule the autonomy of the parents than when they are still together.

    Just my $0.02.

    • My grandchild who is 11 lived with me and my husband for 21 months. Seven of those months was just with my husband and I until her parents moved in. Just recently my daughter in law and I had a major argument and I thru my son and daughter in law out. They left and took my grandchild over 4 weeks and my daughter in law has refused to let us have any contact with our grandchild. My husband and I have taken care of our grandchild needs with out her parents helpi! My grandchild is on the honor roll in school because of my husband and I making sure her school work is completed daily! My daughter in law has told my son and neighbors , it’s her child, her husband, her family. No one is going to tell what to do with her family! Since my grandchild was born, my husband and I have been helping take care of our grandchild, after school and on the weekends until my grandchild moved in with us without her parents for seven moths without her parents. My question is, does my husband and and I have any rights to visitation with our grandchild. My grandchild calls our home her home and cries daily to come back. Help please!

      • IM CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING IM UP IN TEARS RIGHT NOW TRYING TO FIND INFORMATION ON HOW I CAN GET HELP ON THIS SITUATION IM SO SORRY YOUR GOING THROUGH THIS I KNOW THE PAIN AND THE TEARS YOU FEEL DID YOU GET VISITATION RIGHTS? i KNOW YOU DONT KNOW ME BUT IF YOU COULD PLEASE EMAIL ME IT WOULD HELP ME ALOT AND I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND jadecampbell1993@gmail.com

  • This seems good for kids. It’s a little late to do a thorough read and subsequent analysis, but I can see some real benefits. What are the tought of others?

  • I am on board with the spirit of this legislation, but some of the language could have been tightened.

  • Karen

    I don’t believe any grandparent should have access to your child over your objections for any reason whatsoever. A fit parent has a right to make that decision, not the court. There should be no legislation allowing this. Period.

    • Debbie

      I disagree with you. The mother of my granddaughter allows my granddaughter to see me only when I pay her. She once demanding $100 be paid to her within so many hours (I was in the hospital that day)
      I did not meet her deadline so she changed her number told my granddaughter I was no longer her grandmother and told me she hopes I enjoy my lonely holidays. This is mental abuse to a child who would cry when I had to take her home in fear that her mother wouldn’t let her visit again. The court denied her child support from my son in court because of several issues. She hasn’t yet been proven unfit but she should not be able to sell her child.

    • Kimala

      I am a grandmother. I am not allowed to see my grandson…not because anything I have done, my son has done, etc…. His mom is CRAZY and has the best lawyer money can buy. I am a NC school teacher. I can’t afford the BIG BUCKS… She is controlling everything since her family has money.

      • Gib

        There is a bill in judiciary 3 in Raleigh that right now this weds at 12:30 will be voted on to move on that will help us folks that are alienated from our grandchild. my daughter passed away unexpectedly due to epilepsy, we are without a voice, only if this bill moves on will we have a chance. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE WHO READS THIS PLEASE CONTACT THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES ASAP AS WITH OUT AN OUTCRY THE BILL MAY DIE AND NOT BE ABLE TO BE SUMITTED AGAIN FOR TWO YEARS TIME IS OF THE ESSENTS CALL OR EMAIL THE FOLLOWING TODAY

        ASK THEM TO DO ALL THEY CAN DO TO GET H413 PASSED SO IT CAN MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL…..THIS IS THE LAST AND FINAL SHOT PLEASE DO THIS.

        CALL NC REPRESENTATIVE TED DAVIS AT 919-733-5787 ASK HIM TO SUPPORT BILL 413 AND TO PLEASE HAVE A VOTE ON 04/22/2015

        CLICK BELOW TO EMAIL THE JUDICIARY COMMITEE PLEASE
        http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House+Standing_30

        PLEASE DO THE EMAILS THEY NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY OF US THERE ARE HELP NC GET GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS!
        SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 413 – LAST CHANCE- YES YOU DO MATTER!

        • jj

          How can I get visitation to my grandchildren in SC when I live in FL? We are not allowed to see them when they all come to FL & we have been told not to come to SC to see them.

      • nora

        I totally agree with the teacher ..i feel alone in my fight, I love my grandchildren, and they love me .. I dont have big bucks ..I wish I could see them . I have done nothing wrong ..i could provide professional references . system especially in Mecklenburg county is abusive to children.

        • I’m being denied seeing my 2 year old grandson because of his father who has money and plenty of it and has drug my daughter through court so much the last year and taken her son away from her. She works and has a 13 year old daughter living with her. No drugs or anything, just went on a short vacation/job search and he had her arrested for custody interference. He threatened to do this when the baby was born and he has. I haven’t been able to see my grandson in 5 mths now, nor talk to him. I have pleaded to let me bring his 13 year old sister to visit but never a response. He has now moved out of town, living with HIS mother to help him with my grandson. How is this right? We have the money talks, good ole boy system in our courts and it needs to stop!

    • If a parent is fit and the grandparents are then why should this be a problem? I know because I raised my grandkids then my daughter was killed!!! Then the dad which hadn’t raised them had all rights. NO THAT IS NOT FAIR NOR RIGHT. THIS IS ABOUT CHILDREN! !! NOT US I AM RESPONSIBLE AND LOVE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD YET I’M PUNISHED for not being THE BIOLOGICAL MOTHER WELL WITHOUT ME THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THEM!!! a parent who deliberately holds children from people that have loved them and raised them ARE NOT FIT!!! THAT IS A SELFISH ACT BECAUSE YOU WANT ALL THE SAY BECAUSE OF BIOLOGICAL GENES!! BS!! IT IS ABOUT THE WELL BEING OF THE CHILD ABOVE ALL ELSE !!! TRUTHFULNESS AND INTEGERITY in these matters is so very important. The kids parents and grandparents have dealt with grief so why should anyone cause more? I think we all should look inside ourselves and think about the children first and hope all see them first. It is NEVER easy but GOD can work miracles if you let him. Just because we are parents doesn’t mean we own those children In truth GOD DOES!! SO WE ALL SHOULD SHOW HIM GRACE AND THANKFUL NEED FOR EVEN GIVING THEM TO US!! HE COULD JUST AS EASILY TAKE THEM FROM US. JUST SAYING LOOK AT WHAT A PRECIOUS GIFT ALL HAVE BEEN GIVEN DON’T BEGRUDGE someone something or all could lose everything.

    • Harley

      If we were dealing with normal/fit parents, we wouldn’t even be at this point. There are Mother’s/Father’s out there that use their children as a chess piece and worse. For grandparents that have been involved from day one, we have every right to see that our grandchildren are safe from harm.

    • heidi

      Even if they have lived with and have always been there for the children and spent much of their money being blackmailed, pay up or you won’t see the kids? Even if the grandparent has been a buffer in an abusive situation because one parent need mental treatment and the husband and children are bullied and verbally abused? wonder what your situation is.

    • Teresa

      Until you know the circumstances you can’t really judge! My son was killed when my granddaughter was 2 years old, his wife got involved with my sons friend. I will say I was very upset and let them know, that is when she started to pull my visits. I had been picking up my granddaughter at day care every day she stopped that by moving her to a daycare close to her work. Our relationship was never the same. It’s been 4 years since my son has been gone. She just pulls my strings sometimes she’s good if I come see her and sometimes she makes up excuses. My granddaughter is in first grade now and if she gets one point taken away from their behavior plan her punishment is she can’t see me now have this the one point is not bad at all my granddaughter played soccer this season I went to her games then the last week she told me that they wanted to be the only ones there since it was her last game. WTHeck I just don’t get it what should I do it’s not that she won’t let me see her it’s just that she has to be in control. I was very close to my son, so when my granddaughter was born I was close to her and we are very close now she told her mom in front of me that when she turned 17 she was gonna come live with me.

    • lisa

      I agree. If the parent is fit. They should be able to say who there child sees and who they don’t. They court should not be able to tell you who you have to let your child see.

      • Sue

        If the parent was fit the courts wouldn’t have to intervene! The parents would put the child’s feelings first and not use them as a means to control the child or someone else! Fit parents do what’s best for the child and that includes EMOTIONALLY! Fit parents do not withhold someone from their child causing the child to have emotional distress and abandonment issues unless they absolutely have to because the other person is a danger to the child.

        There’s always a way to work things out even if it’s supervised visitations. But a lot of the parents who take their child away from someone only do it to show they have the control and power. That is not in the best interest of the child and that is not a fit parent!!! The relationship is about the child and the other person, NOT THE PARENT!

      • Nancy

        You had better hope, Lisa, that when and if you have children, and they marry and have children,you love them and then your son or daughter dies — and you are left with a daughter or
        Son-in-law who wants to throw you away regardless
        Of your love for your grandchild/grandchild.
        You have no idea where life is going to take you, Lisa. I believe that if your own grandchildren ever get ripped away from you, you will be singing a totally different tune. Unless it happens to YOU, do not speak so blithely.

    • Julie

      Do you have grandchildren? I do. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask to see the child at all. We as parents look forward to the day we will have children and then grandchildren. With out grandparents, you not I would be here having thid debate. I hope you have wonderful memories of your grandparents. I’m very glad to see this in legislation.

    • Marilyn Tart

      Even if the mother has been in a mental hospital two or three times. Has attempted suicide 3 or more times, also her career was and is a stripper. She, also drinks too much, and has told me herself that she passed out while the baby only being almost 2 was left to fall asleep on the floor. I do believe that she had enough of care for him to lock the doors, but not clear on that either.For the first year she was a great mother, but she got on some meds that made her totally not care. My son has rented her an apt., bought her a 40,000 car, also gave her 15 thousand dollars.He does get his son often, but she has kept him from me off and on since he was born.He is afraid if he doesn’t do whatever she wants that she will take the child, and leave. She is very good at threats, and this is his first child at age 28. She is five years older, and was sexually molested since the age of two in case you didn’t think it could get worse! Could someone lease advise, or help me with getting to see him more while my son has him? Thank You!

  • I think grandparents right should be given also if the parents are together. Some parents keep the children away from the grandparents even though the children beg to see their grandparents and I think it is wrong to deny the child the right to have a relationship with the grandparent just because the parents are together. I think that when one of the parents is saying openly in front of the child they hate the grandparent I think this is wrong when the child loves the grandparent very much. I think the law should include grandparents right even when the parents are together. I don’t think children should be used by parents to the grandparent by telling them to do something for them and they can see the child. I think if the grandparent is a hard working person and have a good life they should be allowed to have rights to see the grandchildren.

    • C.Smith

      I agree grandparents should not be denied visitation with their grandchildren even when the parents are together. Children need to be with diverse personalities to grow spiritually, socially and emotionally. Depriving a relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild is ridiculously wrong!

    • Margaret Roddey Rushing

      I need legal advice in Lancaster SC!My daughter has been addicted to drugs her whole life since 14!She is now almost 38 and addicted to pain pills for 5 years!She got pregnant in 2000 I moved back to Lancaster SC to be her child’s caretaker,I was with the child more than my daughter was!She then got pregnant again in 2005,the father of this child married her!2 yrs ago I confronted her and her husband about reports from my grandchildren that she was abusive!Every way possible!I threatened to call DSS and I haven’t seen them since!please lead me in the right direction!

    • Tamala Cantrell

      My situation exactly! I’m
      the grandparent being denied time with my granddaughter by my son and other half that lived together. I’ve been around and kept my granddaughter since she was 3 months old. The mother is only about her family but what she don’t realize I’m part of her family because of the relationship I have with my granddaughter. My son just don’t want issue so he let’s her have her way. Does anyone care how my granddaughter feels? Also I have a close relationship with my granddaughters s brother which I consider my grand son also! You can never have enough family!

      • Dee

        My first grandchild was just born and the mother pretends to be OK with me bit the reality is she hates me because my son and I are very close but every moment he is with her I see that changes. She said she will never let me have not even hours alone with my grandson. She says normal grandmother don’t need to see their grandchild that much. At this point I give up. The child is only days old and she has already made it clear me and my family will only have supervised visitation when she feels its appropriate. Therefore I have a grandchild in name only who will never truly know me. If I go by her wishes and dictates the child will never truly know me and I will never know him. It will be just surface and stress and pain for me so I have to let go. When people say ” how is your grandbaby?” I will say I don’t know. I am rarely allowed to see him. God will not bless this kind of wrong. To deny a grandmother is the cruelest thing andbheartless. Did she grow up not knowing hers. Every grandparent I know regardless of color are active on their grandchildrens lives. However this is my fate so I will accept it and move on and pray this isn’t the end of my relationship with my son.

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  • Monica

    I am glad SC finally got this because I think it is wrong for a mother or father to be able to take away a child from their grandparents unless the grandparents are unfit. I am a grandmother to a 1yr. old granddaughter and was in her life for the 1st year. Her mother(19) and father (22) were not together after her 3rd month of pregnancy, the mother said she wanted my husband and I in our granddaughters life. I took the mother back and forth to Dr. visits, and the mother even wanted me to be in the room when my granddaughter was born (I was there). After my granddaughters birth, my husband and I were in our granddaughters life for the first year we seen her every week, and we kept her over night almost every weekend(for a full year) until the mother got married to another man, then things started changing. The mother decided that we could not be in our granddaughters life if we could not agree to basically disown our own son to see our granddaughter. So the mother hasn’t let us see our granddaughter in over 3 months now.

    • Roberta Leger

      I’m so sorry for you!!! My daughter is being brain washed by her boyfriend…she has no friends left … And now family!!! I live in another state so it is very difficult for me to take any action!!! I have a beautiful Grandaughter who I am unable to visit…this all took place after I bought everything for her arrival!!! They bought nothing…now I get kicked to the curb…this new law does nothing to help me…all I can say is keep praying

    • Tamala Cantrell

      This is not what family is supposed to be about. I’m in one minute out the next?

  • Sunshine Childers

    I don’t think the grandparents should be deprived time with these children for 3 months. Most adult children react out of anger and spite. The child becomes a tool to hurt instead of a child to love. It’s just not fair to the child or grandparents. I can’t see my grandchild for 3 months because I told my son to be responsible. Just not fair to all involved.

    • Roberta Leger

      Well said!!

      • Jan

        Thank you; I so totally agree. I have three beautiful grandchildren that I haven’t seen in 2 1/2 years. My son is the father of these children. To the best of my knowledge, both parents are together. I was present at the birth of each grandchild, even while residing in another state. Things have always been “touchy” with my daughter-in-law, but she & my son appear to be excellent parents. The maternal grandmother did a number on me while in an argument with her daughter in Oct, 2012- I believe to get the heat off her (she made numerous untrue, twisted statements). Prior to this mess, I had my grandchildren at least twice a month overnight, doing things that they enjoyed. I love the way that you put it – using a child as a tool to hurt instead of a child to love. I miss my babies!

        • heidi

          I have always been involved with my youngest grandson and his older step-brother. I traveled far and stayed a month to help when M was born. he is nine. I moved to the state at my daughter’s insistence two years ago. Unfortunately I was seriously hurt a few month’s later and could not work. I give my daughter credit for letting me stay. She also had plans for the money I will be receiving eventually. Unfortunately, she is also a bully and verbally abuses everyone in the house. She did this when her adult children were young as well. She’s been telling me that I forget whole blocks of time where I forget conversations and act bizarrely. This is absolutely not true. she was trying to set up a situation where she would control my money. At least this is my belief. This is painful but the worst of it is, is that me and both my grandson and step grandson have always had a close and loving relationship and it was made more so in the two years I lived with them. A few days ago, my daughter was verbally abusing me and driving in her anger in a reckless and harsh way she knew would be painful for me. I’ve recently had neck surgery and am still under medical care for that and other damage. I finally stood up to her and later was thrown out of the house and told I would never see my grandsons again. She denied in front of her husband that the incident happened. It’s a very intense household where she brooks no disagreement or life becomes quite miserable. Her husband does not stand up to her or even for his son from another marriage who I consider just as much a grandson. My grandsons and I are very close. I am the one who tucks the little one into bed while is parents are too busy to spend time with him. he was actually begging his mom to talk to him one day and asking why she never plays with him. she is addicted to facebook and rushes from the dinner table to get back to her friends while her husband rushes to the television while having his smartphone and Ipad on as well. He was allowed to plays games the entire summer so they wouldn’t have to pay attention. I play games with him and spend time with him but am now not physically able to do things we used to do. Shouldn’t someone( I can’t) at least make sure their son can ride a bike by the time he’s nine? That aside it’s the constant verbal and psychological abuse that I had to stand up to. The price is the worst possible for me but I know the kids are being punished for what I did as well. And they will literal be punished if they say things like. “Why did grandmama leave us, what did we do?” and they will be told lies and then they will forget me. I can only hope they’ll have some memory of their loving grandmother. I could not be in more pain over this. They will suffer too.

    • Trina Robertson

      I have grandchildren and everytime the parents get upset with other people or me they use the kids to hurt us..i faught for 3 years to get two of my grandbabies back in our lives and now a girl that has my sons child is doing the same thing..i was there when my grandbaby was born…i have been in her life for almost 6 years…she will be 6 this month…she has been over my house at least once a week her entire life…her mother was even on hard times and signed the baby to me..we just didnt get into court its a notarized paper..when no one would allow the mother and child to stay with them due to the mother having no heat etc..i gave her and the baby a place to live they lived with me for over 8 months..i am so sick of these parents using these children just to hurt us grandparents how is that in the best interest of the child…i want to get an order for my rights to visit a child that i raised pretty much..the child has even stated to a caseworker that she wants to live with me…someone please help i want to have the rights to visit with my grandchildren without the parents using them as a weapon…what do we need to do…i will be on board with all in SC..

  • Margaret Roddey Rushing

    My grandchild was born in 2000.I have taken caste of her 75% of the time since she was born.My daughter was not married and was addited then and still today.She got pregnant again in 2005 after my grandson was born the father of the child married my daughter.I then took over the care taking of both my grandchildren.School pickups,Weekends,and every summer most of the time they would stay for days without contact with my grandchildren.We never hit our grandchildren but the would beg us not to send them back home.My daughter now is an opiate addict and would slap my granddaughter who is ADHD and call her a piece of shit.My grandson would be picked up at school every Fri for 8 yrs with bruises from a belt.I confronted my daughter and she took my grandchildren away for 2 yes now.My grandson started having panic attacks and had to go to therapy.He has cried for us many times I have been told but Jami is a cold addict.Please advise what do do

  • Shanda

    A dear couple in Florence SC has tragically lost their daughter, and now their two beautiful little grand children, thanks to the babies’ father & “girlfriend”. As far as I know, they have already spent a lot of money to try to get some sort of visitation of their deceased daughter’s two very young children. This couple has had more pain and hurt, simply by loosing their daughter. Now, their pain and suffering continues, instead of a “normal” grieving & healing process, the nightmare continues as the “father” of their grand babies refuses the couple to see and spend time with these precious babies. It’s not fair to the grandparents, but certainly NOT FAIR to the grand babies to loose their Mommy, but now their their Grandparents and extended family members. This couple needs HELP by someone that truly CARES about the welfare of the children & grandparents. I (think) they are already at a point of being financially drained, due to their daughter’s unexpected death and now seeking help to see their grand babies to no avail. If ANYONE has the time and a heart, I’m begging you to help this family….Aubrey & Tina Kennedy Graham of Florence, SC!!!! They both have pages on Face Book and you can see their heart felt desires to see and spend time again with their daughter’s children. PLEASE feel free to contact me via e-mail or them, through Face Book if you or ANYONE ARE WiLLING TO HELP THIS FAMILY!!! And, Thanks to our own Nikki Haley for passing these laws in SC!!!!!!

  • tonya cleto

    I’m looking for information on what to do to get visitation rights to my grandson thanks in advance

  • Carolinian

    If grandparents are given rights, they also should provide some type of financial support. With rights comes responsibility! I have a more than one child, but one of them has grandparents that live in another state over 2000 miles away. They think I should send my child to stay with them in the summer every year so they can see her. I disagree completely and broke contact with them. My children are very close, and if one were gone for the entire summer each year that would be devastating. They would miss each other terribly. Also, my child would miss important family time and vacations together while being forced to visit with the grandparents in a mother state. I hope that they do not get any rights to take my child for the summer or any other time for that matter. They do not care about anything but their own feelings. I’ve flown out with my child more than once for them to see their grandchild. They’ve only came once. It’s a tough situation no doubt, but children do not understand being taken away from their family to go stay with complete strangers.

    • I support my grandson with any and everything he needs and they live in one of my homes but no gparents shouldn’t have to pay to see their grand children their blessings not material things

    • Gena chapman

      parents rights come first unless the parents are unfit. If the parent or parents are fit the grandparents have no rights

  • My parents see their grandkids when they want too but now I’m to the point of not letting them see the youngest son who is just a baby do to the fact that my dad hates my husband and he’sturned into a very mean person the grandfather drinks alcohol all the time beer every day and goes out on weekends to get drunk hes brain washed my 17 yr old and grandpa aka my dad threaten to take my baby boy n middle boy away just cause I made my mom mad at me cause she couldn’t sign school papers for my eldest son …I need help on how I can keep drunk mean grandpa from trying to get my other to sons all just cause he hates my husband of 18 yrs of marriage.we have a stabilized home and money and bought what a baby needs and our other sons but mean grandpa wouldn’t bring my oldest son home and went behide my back and got my oldest son a new phone that me aka mom n his father promised him just cause grandpa was POOED at me and drove drunk back home with my 17 yrold in vehicle now tell me if grandparents like mine should have rights …they are a danger to their own grandkids and now I need to know what I can do about my own father to keep my boys safe ….

  • Nancy

    It is sad that parents keep children away from grandparents out of spite. It hurts the children as much as the grandparent. As far as the lady that felt if the grandparent gets to visit that they should pay support….how sad. But I’m sure there are a lot of grandparents that would be glad to do this just to see their grandchildren. My relationship with my grandparents made lasting, happy memories for me. It’s sad how this world has changed so much and that children are abused in so many different ways…depriving a child of a loving relationship with their grandparent is abusive. I could never have done this to my child even if I had not wanted to see my parents.

    • Jan

      Thanks, Nancy. I haven’t seen my three beautiful grandchildren in almost 2 1/2 years. Just saw someone say that using a child as a tool to hurt rather than a child to love – says it all to me. The parents are together & are great parents (my son is the father). Long story, but maternal grandmother spread a lot of untruths that son & daughter in law believe – even kept my son from attending his grandmother’s funeral in July, 2014.

  • Dr. Arnold A. Diggs JR

    My daughter would set up the week ends for the past 14 years, for me and my wife to stop by and pick up the grandchildren, their father who is no longer married to their mother would just come by and pick them up, this would upset my wife, he does not pay the court ordered child support, stating their mother has a job, let her support them, but interferes all the time when it is time for us to pick them up. This law should aide us in getting visitation rights with our 4 grands.

  • patricia loftis

    My daughter an her husband has 3 children. A year ago dss removed them from the home because of an herion addiction which either of the grandparents knew of at the time. Kids were placed in foster care. My daughters mother in law was awarded custody of the 3. Kids a year ago since she has gotten custody her phone number has changed an she has denied me an my husband any type of visitation with the kids. I am very close to them was there from the time they were born until their parents moved several hours away. The other grandparents did not have a relation ship with the kids. I’m thankful she has custody cause I’m not finicially able to do so my self. I don’t know what to do to visit them. I miss them so very much. Can any one give me any advise?

  • Lynn

    I am working on getting visitation to my granddaughter who currently lives with her other grandmother. Both mom and dad do not have much to do with her. My problem is I am in New Mexico and she is in SC. I will have to wait until I move back east to really push that. My daughter however, has begged to see her niece and has been denied. Now we are all blocked from their (mother’s side of the family) Facebook page which was our only link to seeing updates on her. Are there rights for Aunts and Uncles to see their niece/nephew? What can they do legally? We are all heartbroken!!!

  • Becca

    False: “Taylor Brown is a local conservative columnist for the massively influential South Carolina news website FITSNews.com.” Taylor Brown may be a local conservative columnist, but FITSNews is NOT influential nor reputable. It is the scandal tabloid news outlet of the state. The one you don’t want to check from your work computer. Please, Breitbart, you are better than this association.

  • alis

    My fiance and I have both agreed to keep his mother out of our children’s life, we’ve had to report her to police for harassing us, via messages, phone calls and when we blocked her number she harassed us through texting apps. This started from a week before our youngest was born until now (5months). She is bipolar and has had brain damage due to an accident she had while drinking and driving. We adore his father but she’s been harassing us, tried breaking into our old house and was emotionally abusive so we don’t want ourselves or our children around that toxic environment. We just learned that now she wants to try and get visitation (we’re in the process of working on a restraining order). Can she really take us to court for this? Does she even have a case?

  • Heather

    My husband and I have been having trouble with my father. He has actually threatened to shoot and kill my husband. We have chosen not to let our son go to his house and now he is talking about getting a lawyer and “getting his rights to his grandson”. Does he actually have rights as a grandparent?

  • Don

    This should be on a case by case basis. I’m a single father in SC and my child’s mom is incarcerated and she was lucky to get supervised visitation. I let her parents get my child every other weekend and they are STILL trying to get grandparents visitation. These people are a thorn in my side but I believe my child should know their own family, whether I like them or not. Unfortunately, if the situation were reversed then they would just laugh at me and my family. Fingers crossed, court in a few weeks. Wasting all this $ for no reason.

  • Brook

    Here is a story, 8 years ago i left my abusive ex husband whom also abused me while i was pregnant. His parents weren’t the most maternal people towards me. His mother at the most told me I had no rights as a mom and the family used my son against me when my ex husband was violent to me in their own home. I would get thrown out of their house my son would stay with them. For a whole year i got used and abused. I stayed in my relationship because it was the only way i could be with my son. My son own grandfather stood outside holding my child while he watched his son beat my in their own front yard. I finally was able to make my escape from my ex and able to take my son with me back to spartanburg. I was a stay at home my, i took care of my son 24/7 with no help from my ex. When i broke free i was so happy. While separated from my ex he never came saw his son. His grandparents did take my son to charleston and brought him back to me and told me how good of a mother I was. 3 weeks before our custody hearing my ex wanted to see his son. Against my better judgement I knew better than to let my son see his father. I didn’t want to go to court with him saying i wouldn’t let him see his son. I took my son up to see his father, that was the day I lost my child. His sister and his father sat there while their son ripped my one year old from my arms and video taped, while his sister was laughing at my misery stating “this could prove her unfit.” I died that day. I couldn’t believe that family would stoop to that level and do that to me. I called the cops trying to get my son back, i was threatened to be arrested they kept my son, i went back home empty handed in tears. I drove away watching my son crying and pointing to me. Well we both ended up loosing custody in court so my grandma and my ex mother stood up for temporary joint custody while a Guardian was appointed by DSS. During this order my ex wasn’t aloud to have any contact with me. He was stalking me during this time, against court orders, came to my home destroyed my house, beat me in my front yard and kidnapped me to our last residents and threatened to have my ganged raped. I did whatever he told me just so he would let me go back home. I called the cops he was never arrested for it. Well the Guardian saw how abusive my ex was, she came over two days later i told her and showed her pictures of what he did showed her my home. Well in january we all had a meeting. My lawyer my ex and the Guardian. The lawyers left the room leaving me with my ex and the Guardian. I watched her walk around to my ex and hug him. Stating she has known the atkinson for a long time because my ex and her son played baseball together. She cooed at me saying that there is no way my ex was abusive that he loved me and wanted me back. I looked at her like she was crazy. My ex telling me he would never hurt me he wanted me back. I said no. That i should agree to giving his parents full custody and I should sign over my rights. I said only way my rights would be taken away if i was dead. I am fighting full custody that is that. The guardian told me that if i fought full custody, I would never see my son again, that she would put him in foster care. Tears swelled up in my eyes, this lady has power and she could do it. I said fine, Ill do temporary joint custody that is it. I want full custody back within a year. She took a paper ( which doesn’t exist anymore) and a red pen. In order for me to have joint custody I had to reconcile with my abusive ex husband. My son means the world to me, i felt trapped. So I agreed. She wrote in this red pen and hunter and i signed she initialled it. In the back of my mind, i knew i wasn’t going to sign the actual papers. I was with my ex and his parents came by the house picked us up. They drove to their lawyers office the papers were written up they went in to sign them. Then the decided to take me by my lawyers office and asked me to sign the papers, which i stated i would later (i was waiting to talk to my lawyer about the guardian) They went by there anyways, i got out went in . I went up to the lady in the front she said oh here are your papers, as soon I was shaking my head no, in comes my ex husband right behind me. I grabbed the papers and was really taking my time reading them. He got close to grabbed the back of my arm and began to pinch it and told me if I didn’t sign them I was going to regret it. I knew his threats were real, honestly being in a town, with his family, im sure they would have helped my ex get away with murder so I signed. I called back later that day to tell her not to give them to my lawyer but it was too late. A month went by after the papers were filed, i caught my ex cheating. I got mad and wanted to end it tried leaving, which ended up into a five hour physical beating by him. I was beat for five hours straight and put in the hospital. Took 4 months for my bruises to go away. Two days after being out of the hospital. I had the sheriffs department call my work asking me who my son was living with when he tested positive for cocaine and pot ( he was just a year old) whom i also found out so did my ex husband. He was under investigation. So I told the cop he was with my ex family during the time frame mentioned. I called my ex mother in law in raged, asked why i have the sherrifs department calling me about my son testing positive for cocaine. HEr comment was “my ex” had no idea where I had taken my son, was scared I was taking him around drug addicts. Non of my friends did drugs. Thats funny because my ex tested positive too, she hung up the phone. The custody orders have been horrible. She would take away my weekends rearrange them with my grandmother without my acknowledgement. Sometimes I would see my son once a month. Hardly got my summer visitations she never lets me have him xmas day at all. I love my son so much. I can see some grandparents being fit parents than most. Grandparents like what I deal with no.

  • Grandparent visitation victim

    My son was molested by his grandparents during court ordered visitation awarded them over my objections. They spent years taking me to court costing me thousands of dollars.
    If a grandparent loves their grandchildren they should maintain a relationship of respect with both of their grandchild’s parents. The financial burden alone isn’t fair to the family unit.
    My family will never be the same. The state didn’t have the right to make this decision for my son, they aren’t the one’s picking up the pieces of my son now!

  • Angie

    My 28 yr old son is a control freak. He tells everyone I was mean to him as a child. I have four children, my oldest son died in 2005. He loved and respected me. My middle son loves and respects me, my daughter the same. But my youngest son hates me! He doesn’t speak to any of his family. Wouldn’t come to the hospital when his brother was dying. Wouldn’t come when my dad died. He jumps from woman to woman. Had a son( now 8) cheated on his wife, put her out, moved other woman in, got her pregnant, put her out, got back with wife, got custody of youngest son( now4), cheated on wife again, moved in with us for a year, always fussing at his sons, always fussing with me. Moved in with new gf, his ex and him each keep the boys a week every other week. She also keeps youngest boy, he calls her mommy. They love each other. The gf is a total bitch, hates my grandsons, exsp the 4 yr old. They tell me all the bad things she says and does. Now my son won’t let his ex or me see the youngest boy. Left school yesterday hearing my poor 4 yr old grandson scream at the top of his lungs for granny! I cried all day. I keep his 8 yr old brother, my ex dil let’s me, my son won’t let me keep 4 yr old. He has no say over older one, the mom has primary. Am in touch with the school about all this. They are trying to help me. So tired of my son using thet sweet boy to hurt my ex dil and me!

  • gary

    i am a grand parent and helped raised the four of grand childern bought cloes food liveing places because out of work mom not working never had a job they divorced a few years ago and havent been able to see them at all been by the house and seen them out side two times she got put out of the house now i cant find her new address if anyone in s.c can help to give insite please post it .i am 64 would love to see them before it maybe to late it has been 4yrs

  • Richard

    I am a Grandfather who has been denied visitation with my son’s children, a boy and a girl. I have never met them, never held them and I am 67 years old and will be here who knows how much longer. I have begged, pleaded, whatever it took to see my grandchildren, but for a reason I do not know, my son and his wife do not even respond to my questions. I live in SC and they live in CT, and about once a year I go to visit in MA and go within 5 minutes of their home. I do not understand why they can deny me the opportunity to see my bloodline Grandchildren. I am asking if the courts in SC would cover my rights to visit my grandchildren in CT or do I need to pursue this in a CT court.?

    I do not understand how our children can be so cruel. Thank you all for any responses.

    • Crystal

      You will have to pursue this in a CT court but I just talked to a lawyer and he said you have to prove a pre-existing relationship with the grandchildren but CT may have different laws.

  • Emma

    Quite frankly, I think grandparents rights are ridiculous. Last I checked, I created this child with my husband. We, together, get to determine who will have access to our child.

    My mother, for instance, is bat-sh*t crazy towards me. She’s emotionally and verbally abusive to me, but only does it when we’re alone (because she doesn’t want anyone to think she’s less than a perfect mother). Trying to prove it in court is costly. I shouldn’t be required to allow her access to my child, supervised or otherwise.

    Also, a lot of sexual abuse goes unreported when it involves relatives. After the statue of limitations, which is normally 6-10 years, charges cannot be pursued. A 30 year old woman cannot press charges against her father for sexual abuse from 20-25 years ago, but he can hire an attorney to have access to her children? Her mother, who swept the abuse under the rug, gets to continue to enable his behavior with another generation? I think not. I have this exact problem and I’ll go to my grave before my children meet my parents and are subjected to the same abuse that I was.

  • Crystal

    Thank God for this law. As of right now my niece is holding her child from my sister. I’ve never seen a child love their grandparent or a grandparent love their grandchild as much as these two…there bond is so precious. It breaks my heart to know that precious 2 year old child is maybe laying awake wondering what she ever did wrong to make her grandmother not want to see her again. People use their children too much as leverage when they are mad and those children have no one to speak for them except a parent and when that parent doesn’t care, who else do they have?

    • Crystal

      And this law doesn’t say grandparents will get rights regardless of the situation, it states their has to be proof the grandparent/grandchild has a pre-existing relationship. Its the same with parental custody or visitation rights.

  • Lynn

    My husband and I live out of state….half way across the country from our granddaughter. She lives with her other grandmother who has removed us from being able to see pictures of her or communicate with her. We send Christmas and birthday gifts not knowing if she will even get them. We have done nothing to deserve this treatment except for make a comment if how she favors or side of the family and her father. We are making a trip to Myrtle Beach in May and really want to see her, spend some time with her, and have her included in our family portraits we are having made. What can we do if the other grandmother refuses to let us see her. The child’s mother lives in Colorado with her boyfriend. My son has been trying to see her as well with no luck. Anything I can take with me to ensure we get to see her? Thank you so much.

  • Sylvia

    In the event that the 2 parents have equal, or close to equal visitation of the child–can a grandparent intercept with this ammendment? And perhaps change a 70/30 agreement to a 50/30/20, etc.? Great and valid point about those parents who refuse visitation to grandparents of veterans who died serving our country. I agree 100%. There is a more common generational issue I’ve personally observed in my own life experiences–the grandparents who would manipulate and exploit any situation to give their son/daughter(parent of child) an upper hand. Many grandparents foot the legal bills for these “parents” to achieve certain outcomes, thus have a vested interest ($) that is not necessarily the child.
    I really hope Nikki thought this one through and isn’t just signing to help a friend or sponsor.

  • A Crosny

    My son had been im and of jail since my grandson was born. I helped her support this child for 4 yrs . Now because my son is out she wont let me see him . What are my rights ?

  • Parent

    This law sucks. My oldest child has not seen her grandparents in 6 years and my youngest has never seen them. When my wife and I speak of them; we speak of them by name not by mom or dad. My “parents” tried to break my marriage and take my oldest away from me. Told my wife lies about me and told me lies about my wife with all hopes of trying to get my oldest. They tried to get custody of my oldest in place of myself. Just because they want my child. So what happen…… I cut them out of my life, my children’s life, and I consider my wife, kids, and my mother-in-law my family. My mother-in-law is more of a parent to me than they are. My so called mother wrote me a letter and called me the devil. What kind of parent would do that?

  • I’m really looking forward to seeing my GRANDSON.

  • This is a good start now stop the anonymous phone calls that good prevent a Grand Parent from seeing their Grand Children when a vendetta between younger people that could lead to children being removed from their home placing a child or children in a foster home .

  • Katie

    See you “grandparents” have been active parts in a grandchild life such as baby sitting hepping wih living situations.. doing “grandparent” duties to help the parent(s) out . On my child’s fathers side of the family is forcing visitation upon me less the a month after he commited sucicde(I had to be the one to find him) I had been a stay at home mother since the day I was put on bed rest. They haven’t came to my child’s birthday parties in 2 years let alone send her cards on holidays or even acknowledge her existence no help no phone calls nothing. They actually denied me and my child’s rights to his service “hired security” to keep us away neither me and my child where allowed to have any ashes.. but yet they have this ” loving and close relationship with my child” I’m going into bankruptcy over this to keep my sanity and me going to an extreme panic attacks to keep my child away from such hurtful and traumatizing people. In most cases normal family situations a parent wants there child to have a relationship with the grandparents. But sometimes there are issues in families that just can’t be resolved. Not all granparents are loving people. In my Peticular case I’m being punished financially and mentally by this i have yet to be able to grieve because of this statue.

  • Dorothy

    How can one get visitation rights of a grandchild which I have the right to see my grandchild if the one parent is living out of state refuses to return calls text emails nothing I have been in his life the while 9 months before he was born and up till age 5 and now I don’t know where he is .let me say we have an idea but can’t be sure .So where do I start with our court system to fight for my rights .I am not sure why one lawyer is so scared to go after another lawyer for doing wrong and a gal that stood before a honorable judge and lied I have every court transcripts from when this nightmare started and it’s so ironic the ex boyfriend (father of child ) walked out two days after his first birthday ! But his family has money and the gal was bias would get her cases confused and ex has broken sp many court orders but no one.seems to think its a big deal What why give one court order demands and not hold him accountable and it’s just wrong he gets away with it ! I was raised to trust our court system respect our judges and trust your lawyer they are there to fight for you but never had i heard a lawyer say let me call the other lawyer and see what they think ? Are you serious I could go on and on but my fight is for my precious grandson whom I love been in his life till he was ripped from his mother arms and was terrified and cried all night to please come get him We couldn’t he is in NY my heart sank the tears wouldn’t stop and not only was my child hurting so was my grandson This rips a mother heart and I would be the first to step up and yell at my daughter if she was going out every night drinking partying or having different men in her home around my grandson but she didn’t do any of that her whole life she never drank or party and her whole life changed even more when she held her son for the first time But like I said the address we had or phone number is not any good and yes if i had thousand of dollars i would take every dime and drop it on a lawyer desk that i knew wouldn’t be scared to go up against another one of there colleges .So how does one fight for rights when even the lawyer won’t fight for what’s right When one does wrong and no one does nothing something is wrong with our family court and don’t let me start on the gal that was bias and had there mind made up before it started why because his family has money It all boils down to the all mighty buck and who ever came up with the quote money is the root of all evil nailed that quote So if there is even a glimmer of hope that i can find that lawyer to help me fight for my rights as a loving caring worried grandmother please let my prayers be answered I believe in faith and God and prayers are all I have and of course the tears So my dear precious grandson wherever you are I want you tp know I love you I have been calling writing and just pray you will see me before God calls me home but until then I will fight with all I have to see you and hug you tell you face to face I never stop loving you or trying to talk to you and i still have my kiss you gave me in my pocket .I am keeping a journal and all the things and photos of you and us doing silly things so maybe one day that journal will get to you some how I love you always dear precious grandson !!

  • paula

    My grandson has been in my home off more on in the last 3 years 14 months fulltime the father begged me to take custody in August she was evicted for the second time forcing her to move in,she refused 3 jobs not paying bills and leaving for days at a time Oct 11 th she started a physical fight I tried to get out I don’t like fighting while putting his shoes on she smashed a glass table all over us as I was holding him trying to get out I was banged into a wall hair pulled kidneys punched as we locked ourselves in van awaiting cops she smashed my windshield n dented my car now evicted the father came and got him she’s wca drug addict and noone will allow us to visit no calls me n my mom are all he’s known for 3 years this was his home and now just gone I am on ssdi can’t afford lawyers

  • Kris

    I am in a situation where I don’t want my mother in law to have influence in my child’s life. She constantly undermining my parenting. I have noticed that when a parent doesn’t want to take responsibility for their children then they are bad parents. But when you are a good parent , you don’t have rights to make your own decisions when concerning your own child. Grandparents had the opportunity to raise their children and in turn i believe it is parent who should make the decision for there own child. I am so sick of people not letting others have the responsibility that is clearly their own. Not to mention the fact that my in law is the one who kidnapped he own son, put him in contact with a man who molested her son, and thinks that she does nothing wrong.

  • Paul Willard

    My sons baby’s mother is not giving us the rights to see the child. His child support is current and tells us that the child don’t want to visit us. I was told that if I show up to there house they will have me arrested by them

  • Mark Trujillo

    What if the grandparents live in another state and the grandchildren live in SC?

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