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  • The “love, affection and emotional ties” that exist in the parent-child relationship.

  • The motivation and efforts of the grandparent to maintain the preexisting grandparent-grand- child relationship.

  • The motivation of parent(s) to denying grand- parent-grandchild visits.

  • The “mental and physical health” of the grandparent(s), parents, and child.

  • Whether the child is in a “permanent, stable, sat- isfactory” family and home environment.

  • The moral fitness of the parent(s) and grandparent(s).

  • The character and behavior of any individual who lives in or visits the homes of the parents or grandparents, and who will have contact with the child.

  • The amount of time requested for the visits and the potential negative affect the visits may have on the normal activities of the child.

  • If both parents are deceased, the benefits of con- tinuing the preexisting grandparent-grandchild relationship benefits the child.

Legal Terms

Harm or Potential Harm means a showing that without the court-ordered grandparent visitation rights, the “child’s emotional, mental or physical well-being could reasonably be put at risk or would be jeopardized.”

Intact Nuclear Family refers to a family with married parents and children, the traditional family.

Parental Unfitness includes, but is not limited to, a parent of the child or a person residing with the parent” (10 Okl. St. § 5, 2007, p. 3):

  • Has a substance abuse problem, meaning chemi- cal or alcohol dependency. In addition, when the parent has not sought treatment or treatment has been unsuccessful.

  • Has a history of violent behavior or domestic abuse.

  • Has an emotional or mental illness that obvious- ly ruins his or her judgment or capacity to “rec- ognize reality” or to control his or her behavior.

  • Has failed to provide the child with proper care, guidance, and support. These failures have been harmful to the child. The parent’s lack of interest in the child exposes the child to “unreasonable risks.” The parents influence or lack of influence on the child exposes the child to “unreasonable risk.”

  • Exhibitis behavior or conditions that make him or her unable to care for the child. The parent may have circumstances or conditions that make him or her unable or unwilling to give a child “reasonable parental care”. “Reasonable paren- tal care requires, at a minimum, that the parent nurtures and protects the child’s physical, emo- tional and mental health” (10 Okl. St. § 5, 2007,

    • p.


Parental unfitness is not the same as the term used to terminate the right of parents as defined in other codes.

Preexisting relationship refers to relationships occurring or existing before grandparents’ file for visitation rights.

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