Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation into law that creates a process by which grandparents may apply for visitation with their grandchildren. Previously, Connecticut grandparents had no clear route through the court system to apply for, or receive, visitation rights to the grandchildren. In response to at least one publicized court case, the legislature decided to act. State Representatives Joseph Serra and Michelle Cook, among others, proposed a bill that creates a distinct and defined process by which grandparents apply for visitation. The process requires proof that the grandparent has a “parent-like” relationship with his or her grandchild, has participated in activities with his or her grandchild, and ensures that permitting visitation would not harm the child.
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families noted that, “[the new law] balances the constitutional right of parents to make decisions in the best interests of their children, with the desire of grandparents to be an important part of their grandchildren’s lives.”