In 2000, Washington States visitation laws were dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Troxel vs. Granville when it ruled our laws "breathtakingly broad" and dictated that those laws unconstitutionally interfered with fundamental parental rights.
This has caused much confusion in our state courts; and visitation rights for any 3rd party, including grandparents, have been in flux ever since.
Not until our state legislators take action and pass a constitutionally written law is it likely that our courts will resolve this issue. Until then attorneys are reluctant to take a visitation case. Washington State is currently the only state that does not offer grandparents legal recourse to petition for visitation other than as a part of a current dissolution, separation or parenting plan.
The WSSC decision on April 7, 2005 upheld the USSC decision and dashed any hope for visitation under those circumstances as well.
G.R.O.W.S. is honored to currently be working closely with our state legislators in creating a grandparent's visitation bill which will constitutionally respect the rights of parents and offer grandparents recourse to petition for visitation.
We do not desire to undermine the fundamental rights of parents, but prefer there would be a fair and just means by which we as grandparents can reconnect with our grandchildren.
We firmly believe that it is the children who are truly the losers in this issue. Grandparents play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren and it is woefully tragic for any child to be separated from and denied access to those who genuinely love them.
If you or someone you know is experiencing this heart wrenching plight, please contact G.R.O.W.S.
Site last updated: June 26, 2014