A long-held and stereotypical view of the American family commonly promoted the idea that so-called “nuclear” families were the absolute norm in American society. Indeed, and for many years, not much was heard about other types of family units.

Think for a moment about the television shows you might have watched in bygone years. If you are old enough, you can likely think back to a host of family-related shows where only nuclear families — mom, dad and the kids — featured.

There has of course always been another reality relating to families, namely, a wide assortment of linkages that define them. Many families in Arkansas and nationally, for example, are headed by single parents. Many others are termed “extended” families that encompass grandparents and sometimes many other relatives.

We applaud all versions of family that provide love and support for children, believing that the best interests of children — which is, understandably, the guiding principle of family law — are optimally promoted when the people they love best are in close proximity.

Sometimes that means grandparents, of course, who fulfill an unquestionably singular and important role in the lives of their kids’ children.

Sometimes the special bond between grandparents and children is ruptured by family difficulties that can range widely as to source. Perhaps mom and dad are now separated or filing for divorce. Perhaps one parent seeks to relocate with the children. Maybe there are issues focused upon family violence.

For obvious reasons, grandparents sometimes step forth to file legal petitions for visitation or even custody where their grandkids are concerned.

Our law firm helps them do that, while acknowledging that they lack an absolute right under Arkansas law to structured visitation with their grandchildren.

State courts generally look to the parents and their views regarding grandparent visitation. Notwithstanding that standard, though, there are exceptions based on a host of factors that can weigh heavily into court determinations on the matter.

Persons seeking information or assistance regarding the subject matter of this blog post can receive proven legal representation from our law firm and its experienced attorneys. Please visit us online at our Little Rock, Arkansas, Grandparents’ Rights page.