April 25, 2014

Grassley says it may be time to address grandparent issues

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he hasn’t considered backing the idea of federal legislation on grandparents’ rights, but thinks the time may be coming to address the issue. Grassley says cases are becoming more frequent where one of the child’s parents dies and the other parent refuses to allow grandparents visitation rights.

Grassley says, “I would do things that would help to facilitate grandparents having access to children.” The question arose following recent reports that attorneys in Iowa have called for changes in state law to make it easier for the court to grant visitation. Iowa Legal Aid has reportedly logged 15 calls about the problem in the last 12 months. Grassley has nine grandchildren and four great-grandkids and says the bond is extremely precious.

“Particularly, where grandparents have had some involvement with the raising of children and then because of a death or divorce, something interferes with that relationship,” Grassley says. He adds, it’s very important for there to be established relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren. In cases where a parent dies or there is a divorce, grandparents sometimes face a tough time getting over the hurdles established by the law, allowing for visitation. They have to prove a parent is “unfit” to make decisions about whom the child sees.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic