Indiana Grandparents Visitation Law


Divorce – Grandparents Visitation – Indiana

Section 1.
A child’s grandparent may seek visitation rights if:

the child’s parent is deceased;
the marriage of the child’s parents has been dissolved in Indiana; or
subject to subsection (b), the child was born out of wedlock.

A court may not grant visitation rights to a paternal grandparent of a child who is born out of wedlock under subsection (a)(3) if the child’s father has not established paternity in relation to the child.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-1

Section 2.
The court may grant visitation rights if the court determines that visitation rights are in the best interests of the child.

In determining the best interests of the child under this section, the court may consider whether a grandparent has had or has attempted to have meaningful contact with the child.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-2
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 3.
A proceeding for grandparent’s visitation must be commenced by the filing of a petition entitled, “In Re the visitation of _________”. The petition must:

be filed by a grandparent entitled to receive visitation rights under this chapter;
be verified; and
set forth the following:

The names and relationship of:

the petitioning grandparent or grandparents;
each child with whom visitation is sought; and
the custodial parent or guardian of each child.

The present address of each person named in clause (A).
The date of birth of each child with whom visitation is sought.
The status under section 1 of this chapter upon which the grandparent seeks visitation.
The relief sought.

Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-3
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 4.
A grandparent seeking visitation rights shall file a petition requesting reasonable visitation rights:

in a circuit or superior court of the county in which the child resides in a case described in section 1(a)(1), 1(a)(3), or 10 of this chapter; or
in the court having jurisdiction over the dissolution of the parents’ marriage in a case described in section 1(a)(2) of this chapter.

Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-4
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 5.
Whenever a petition is filed, a copy of the petition, together with a copy of a summons, shall be served upon the custodial and noncustodial parent or guardian of each child with whom visitation is sought in the same manner as service of summons in civil actions generally.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-5
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 6.
Upon hearing evidence in support of and opposition to a petition filed under this chapter, the court shall enter a decree setting forth the court’s findings and conclusions.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-6
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 7.
The court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights whenever modification would serve the best interests of the child.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-7
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 8.
This section applies to a child born out of wedlock.

Visitation rights provided for in section 1 or 10 of this chapter survive the establishment of paternity of a child by a court proceeding other than an adoption proceeding.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-8
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 9.
Visitation rights provided for in section 1 or 10 of this chapter survive the adoption of the child by any of the following:

A stepparent.

A person who is biologically related to the child as:

a grandparent;

a sibling;

an aunt;

an uncle;

a niece; or

a nephew.
Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-9
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.

Section 10.
If the marriage of the child’s parents has been dissolved in another state, the child’s maternal or paternal grandparent may seek visitation rights if:

the custody decree entered in the action for dissolution of marriage does not bind the grandparent under IC 31-17-3-12; and

an Indiana court would have jurisdiction under IC 31-17-3-3 or IC 31-17-3-14 to grant visitation rights to the grandparent in a modification decree. Chap. 5, IC 31-17-5-10