Senate Bill No. 478
(By Senator White)
[Introduced February 20, 1995; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections three and five, article
two-b, chapter forty-eight of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
giving the custodial parent's parents the same visitation
rights as the noncustodial parent's parents have.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections three and five, article two-b, chapter
forty-eight of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, to read
ARTICLE 2B. GRANDPARENT VISITATION.
§48-2B-3. Grandparent visitation upon abandonment or abrogation
of visitation rights by parent or judicial preclusion of visitation.
(a) A grandparent may petition a circuit court, which has
entered a final order of divorce or annulment or has granted a
decree of separate maintenance, for an order granting visitation
rights with a minor grandchild where:
(1) The parent through whom the grandparent is related to
the minor grandchild is deemed the noncustodial parent of the
minor child by virtue of the court's order regarding custody of
the minor child;
(2) (1) The parent through whom the grandparent is related
to the minor child having been granted visitation rights with the
minor child refuses, fails or is unable to avail himself or
herself of the right of visitation for a period of six months or
more or has been precluded visitation rights by court order or is
an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States
whose permanent duty station is located more than one hundred
miles from the border of this state; and or
(3) (2) The petitioning grandparent has been refused
visitation with a minor grandchild by the custodial parent for a
period of six months or more.
(b) In determining the appropriateness of granting visitation rights to a grandparent pursuant to this section, the
court shall consider the amount of personal contact between the
grandparent and minor child prior to the filing of the petition,
whether or not the granting of visitation would interfere with
the parent-child relationship and the overall effect of such
visitation on the minor child's best interest.
§48-2B-5. Grandparent visitation when minor child has resided
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the
contrary, a grandparent may petition the circuit court of the
county in which he or she resides for an order granting said
grandparent reasonable visitation rights where:
(1) Said minor grandchild has resided without significant
interruption with the grandparent with the parents residing
elsewhere for a period of six consecutive months or more;
the past two years
(2) The minor grandchild is subsequently removed from the
home by a parent or parents; and
(3) The removing parent or parents have refused to allow the
petitioning grandparent visitation with the minor child who
formerly resided in the grandparent's home.
(b) If the circuit court determines that the requirements
set forth in subsection (a) of this section have been shown, it
shall grant such reasonable visitation rights to the petitioning
grandparent as may be consistent with the minor child's best
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to give the custodial
parent's parents the same visitation rights as the noncustodial
parent's parents have.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.