Yes. As a parent, you have the right to make important decisions regarding your child. If you do not believe spending time with their grandparents is in your child’s best interests, you can keep your parents from seeing your child (their grandchild).
Keep in mind, however, that grandparents have some rights in Oklahoma, and your parents may contest your decision in court, particularly if they suspect you are abusing or neglecting your child, or you are experiencing any family instability (i.e., a divorce or Child Protective Services investigation).
What If My Spouse Disagrees with My Decision?
If you want to prevent your child from spending time with someone, you and your spouse must agree on this decision.
According to the Oklahoma Bar Association, “A biological grandparent cannot win visitation to a grandchild if the grandchild’s parents are still married and both agree the grandparents should not have visitation.”
If you and your spouse do not agree, on the other hand, there is nothing stopping your spouse from taking your child to visit your parents.
Your spouse may believe they are acting in your child’s best interests by allowing them to visit their grandparents, so you may need to explain why you do not want your child around your parents.
Maybe your parents were abusive to you in the past or simply do not respect the boundaries you have set. Whatever the problem may be, speaking to your spouse will help you find a solution. Often, the solution can take place outside of court
What If I Am Divorced or Getting Divorced?
If you are divorced and share custody, you may be unable to decide who your child spends time with when they are not with you. Nevertheless, you can petition for full custody if you believe your ex is putting your child at risk.
Also, if you are going through a divorce, you may be able to include instructions about grandparents in a custody agreement. Of course, the judge will not grant a court order unless you have a good reason, so you may need to explain why you don’t want your child to see their grandparents.
Rarely, the judge may grant grandparent visitation during a custody case if the child demonstrates a bond with their grandparent(s) during custody proceedings. The court’s job is always to act in the best interests of your child.
Can I File a Restraining Order Against My Parents?
As an adult, you can file a restraining order against your parents the same way you would file a restraining order against anyone else. Restraining orders are designed to protect you and your children from harassment or abuse, so you must show the judge that your parents are harassing or abusing your family.
If your parents are abusive, and you have proof that they have been hurting or harassing you or your children, you should have no problem getting a protective order.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Unless you are an unfit parent, the state will not interfere with your ability to make decisions regarding your child. The same is true for your child’s other parent, whether you are together or divorced (unless you have sole custody).
If you have a good reason to keep your parents from seeing your child, start by sharing these reasons with your spouse (or ex) and making a decision together.
If this approach does not work, you can fight for sole custody or file a restraining order against your parents.
You do not need a lawyer to talk to your spouse or ex-spouse, but you may need a lawyer if you wish to modify a custody agreement or ask for a protective order.
At Nichols Dixon, we can listen to your situation and advise you of your rights and legal options. Our team wants what is best for you and your family, and we have the experience and reputation you need to get results.
We understand how stressful it can be when your family is threatened, and we want to help.
The best way out of difficulty is through it, so call us at (405) 294-1511 or contact us online to take the first step forward today.