What factors determine a third-party's rights to visitation with a child?
In determining the child’s best interests and third party rights the court will consider all relevant factors including:
The past relationship between the child and the party requesting visitation; the motives of the party requesting visitation and the motives of the parent who has denied visitation; the impact the visitation may have on the child’s activities; and the benefits of maintaining an extended family relationship.
The court must also find that at least one of the following is true:
The parents have been divorced for at least three months (this applies to grandparents and great-grandparents); a proceeding for divorce or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed (this applies to those seeking in loco parentis visitation – in loco parentis means those who stand in place of a parent); one of the legal parents of the child is deceased or missing for at least three months; the child was born out of wedlock and the child’s legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.