In Utah, that question has been thoroughly discussed on the subject of grandparent visitation rights in the case of Jones v. Jones. and if you don’t want to read the rest of my answer, Jones vs. Jones set an extremely high bar for grandparents winning visitation rights, as well it should have. The idea of people other than parents having visitation rights with minor children is presumed inimical to parental rights and the integrity of the nuclear family. What follows is from some of the headnotes from the Westlaw report of Jones v. Jones, 307 P.3d 598 (Utah Ct.App. 2013):
– Grandparents seeking court-ordered visitation must overcome the presumption that a parent’s decision with regard to grandparent visitation is in the grandchild’s best interests by clear and convincing evidence. West’s U.C.A. § 30–5–2(2);
– Paternal grandparents failed to show that state’s interest in ordering visitation under Grandparent Visitation Statute was compelling, as required to prove that statute satisfied due process, although father was deceased and grandparents asserted they had enjoyed a substantial relationship with child before mother abruptly ended visitation two years before trial, where grandparent visitation evaluation contained no reference to harm suffered by child, the record described a healthy and normal grandparent-grandchild relationship, but not an exceptionally close one, and evaluator’s prediction that child may benefit in future from knowing her paternal grandparents in order to grieve her father’s death was speculative. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 14; West’s U.C.A. Const. Art. 1, § 7; West’s U.C.A. §§ 30–5–2, 78A–6–503(9).
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