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Grandparent Rights & Responsibilities

Grandparents often have questions about their rights and responsibilities relating to their grandchildren. In the research links below, you will find information about raising grandchildren, grandparent visitation, and guardianship. In addition, there are links to Wisconsin statutes relating to grandparents’ rights. Check the related topics section on the side bar for information relating to foster care and adoption.

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Popular questions

How do I request visitation rights to see my grandchildren?

When a non-parent requests court ordered visitation with a child, it is called third party visitation. There isn’t a simple, one-size-fits-all process for this; it varies depending on the parents’ status and whether there is a case in the family court. Because third party visitation can be a complicated matter, getting legal advice is recommended. Ask a librarian for help researching sample forms from books or legal assistance organizations. More information about grandparent visitation is available in this memorandum from Wisconsin Legislative Council.

Is there help available for grandparents raising grandchildren?

There are a variety of resources available for grandparents raising grandchildren, ranging from support groups to financial assistance. Many of these resources are listed on grandfamilies.org. Usa.gov and AARP also have resources for grandparents raising grandchildren.

Some grandparents may be eligible to receive financial assistance through Kinship Care. Kinship Care is a program to help support children living with relatives. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families website has more information. Select your county from the drop down menu to find contact information for your county agency.

How can I become a foster parent to my grandchildren?

Grandparents who become licensed foster parents may receive additional financial support and access to other resources. Learn more about foster care from the WI Dept. of Children and Families. Please see this legal guide from AARP for more information about options for grandparents raising grandchildren.

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Additional statutes, regulations & opinions may apply to your specific situation. Search the Wisconsin statutes & administrative code online.



Research links

General Guardianship Parental Power of Attorney Visitation

County Resources

Recommended links from our County Resources database:


Library books & articles

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