Legislation aims to strengthen grandparent’s rights

HARTFORD — Legislation aimed at allowing grandparents more rights when “unfairly” denied visitation of their grandchildren has been proposed again this year.

The proposed bill, LCO 4651 — An Act Concerning a Grandparent’s Right to Visitation with His or Her Grandchild — would amend current state law to allow grandparents access to the court to petition for visitation provided compelling circumstances exist that overcome the presumption that the parental decision to deny such visitation is in the child’s best interest, a press release stated.

State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, and state Sen. Joan Hartley, D-Waterbury, were among the legislators that introduced the bill. The issue of visitation rights for grandparents is championed by Naugatuck resident and Connecticut Chapter President of the Grandparent’s Rights Association Emidio Cerasale, the release stated.

Last session, similar legislation passed the committee process, but was not brought before the full legislature. Cerasale said he hoped this proposal would allow for a process for grandparents to have a chance to explain their side of a visitation situation before being cut off from their grandchildren or be prevented from knowing their grandchildren, the release stated.

“The issue of grandparents’ rights is important to many across our state and this proposed legislation would strengthen current state law while also providing an opportunity for grandparents to seek assistance in maintaining or fostering a positive relationship with their grandchild,” Rebimbas said in the release.