Grandparent Law and Legal Definition

Grandparents are the father or mother of a person's own father and/or mother. Grandfather is a person’s father’s father and grandmother is a person’s mother’s mother. A step grandparent refers to a parent’s stepparent or a stepparent's parent.

In some cases where the parents are unwilling or unable to provide adequate care for their children, grandparents often take on the role of primary caregivers. In traditional cultures, grandparents had a direct and clear role in relation to the care and nurture of children. Recognizing the importance of the grandparent-grandchild relationship, the legislature and courts, have implemented procedures by which grandparents can seek visitation with their grandchildren. All 50 states currently have some type of "grandparent visitation" statute through which grandparents and sometimes others, such as foster parents and stepparents, can ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain their relationships with children. But state laws vary greatly when it comes to the important details, such as who can visit and under what circumstances.