Who can get visitation rights?
Those with the following relationships to a minor child can start a court case to request parenting time (visitation rights) with the child:
1. A legal parent of the child
A legal parent of a minor child always has the right to request visitation rights with their child. If a legal parent does not already have custody of their child, they would likely have to petition the child's current caretaker to get visitation rights.
2. A child's step-parent, grand-parent, or non-minor step or half-sibling
For a non-parent to get visitation rights, one or both of the child's legal parents must pose a physical, mental, or emotional threat to the child, AND at least ONE (1) of the following conditions must be met:
One of the child's legal parents has been found by a court order to be unfit to care for their child
One of the child's legal parents has been in jail or prison for at least 90 days
One of the child's legal parents has been missing for at least 90 days; or
One of the child's legal parents is deceased
3. Someone who is not a relative, but only if...
A friend of one of a minor child's legal parents can be given visitation rights ONLY IF that parent is currently or will soon be deployed for military service. However, the parent deployed for military service must be the one to request a judge that the friend be given visitation rights.
This is referred to as substitute visitation.