HomeAboutContact Us

Grandparents visitations rights

Great Grandparents, Grandparents & Stepparents Visitation Rights

Under Wisconsin law, a Court can order visitation of a child with his or her Grandparents, Great Grandparents or Stepparents. That law is often referred to as, 'Grandparents Visitation Rights', and it has recently changed.

Wisconsin Law

Effective April 7, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a major decision changing the face of Grandparent (as well as Great Grandparent and Stepparent) visitation law.

We [Wisconsin Supreme Court] conclude that Wis. Stat. ยง 767.43(1) does not
require a grandparent, great-grandparent, or stepparent who files
a motion for visitation rights under this subsection to prove
that he or she "has maintained a relationship similar to a
parent-child relationship with the child." Rather, the parent
child relationship element applies only to a "person" seeking
visitation rights who is not a grandparent, great-grandparent, or
stepparent. Additionally, we conclude that the legislature's decision
to allow courts to grant visitation rights to grandparents,
great grandparents, and stepparents when visitation
is in the best interest of the child does not unconstitutionally
infringe on parents' constitutional rights...

What is involved in getting a visitation order?

If there is a dispute, a Court will generally order the disputing parties (Parents and the Great Grandparents or Grandparents or Stepparent) into mediation with the hope they will resolve their differences and come to a agreement on visitation with the child or children.

If the parties come to an agreement, the mediators will present it to the Court and, in most instances, the Court will make it an order.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the Court will likely appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the best interests of the child. The matter will then be reviewed at a hearing with input from a Guardian Ad Litem, and if necessary, the case will be scheduled for trial. Throughout the process, Attorney Kathy Reiley is prepared to zealously advocate for her client's position.

Can other parties petition the Court for visitation?

If other third parties (including non-family members) can show that they have maintained a parent-like relationship with the minor child, they can also petition for visitation.

A Court bases its decision on the child’s best interest. As part of that consideration, deference is given to the decisions of fit parents.

What if the parents are not married?

Grandparents, Great Grandparents and Stepparents may petition for visitation regardless of whether the parents are or have ever been married.

Wisconsin Laws on 'Grandparents Visitation' Recently Changed

On Thursday, April 7, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a major decision on the question of Grandparent, Great Grandparent and Stepparent visitation.

The Supreme Court’s decision holds that Stepparents, Grandparents and Great Grandparents need not prove they maintained a parent-child relationship to be awarded visitation.

Wisconsin Courts may grant visitation rights to Stepparents, Grandparents and Great Grandparents when it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

What step do we take next to see our Grandchild or Stepchild?

The first step towards succeeding on a petition for visitation with a Grandchild or Stepchild is to contact the law offices of Attorney Kathy Reiley to discuss your situation. Call Reiley Law Offices at (414) 369-6309.

Wisconsin State Licensed Attorney:

Attorney Kathleen (Kathy) Reiley exclusively practices law in the state of Wisconsin.

Practice Focus on Divorce and Family Law:

Attorney Reiley focuses her law practice in the area of family law, handling legal separation, Divorce, cohabitation, same sex marriages and divorces, child custody, legal custody, physical placement of minor children, child support, spousal support, paternity, marital property issues, and guardianships.

Divorce Trial Litigation and Divorce Mediation:

With more than thirty years of experience in family law, Attorney Reiley has also participated in the Dane County Bar Association Mediation Project since its inception. Attorney Reiley offers mediation services and divorce mediation, as well as collaborative divorce, cooperative divorce, contested divorce, litigated trial divorce, stipulated divorce, uncontested divorce, divorce of elderly spouses, spousal support (alimony), extensive real estate matters involved in divorce, post divorce modifications and actions, and child support modifications.


Kathleen Reiley, SC
Reiley Law Offices
7161 N Port Washington Road, Suite B
Milwaukee (Glendale), Wisconsin 53217
Telephone: (414) 369-6309
Website: ReileyLaw.com

Regular Business Hours:

Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Geographic Focus:

Attorney Reiley most frequently represents people in Sheboygan, Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin


Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, and Saint Francis, & Wisconsin.


Bayside, Belgium, Cedarburg, Fredonia, Grafton, Mequon, Newburg, Port Washington, Saukville, Thiensville, & Waubeka, Wisconsin.


Sheboygan, Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove, Waldo, Gibbsville, Sheboygan Falls, Oostburg, Adell, Cascade, Plymouth, Howards Grove, Glenbeulah, Mosel, Kohler, Random Lake, Greenbush, and Hingham, Wisconsin.


Allenton, Germantown, Hartford, Jackson, Kewaskum, Newburg, Richfield, Slinger, & West Bend, Wisconsin.


Big bed, Brookfield, Butler, Chenequa, Delafield, Dousman, Eagle, Elm Grove, Hartland, Lac La Belle, Lannon, Menomonee Falls, Merton, Mukwonago, Muskego, Nashotah, New Berlin, North Prairie, Oconomowoc, Oconomowoc Lake, Okauchee Lake, Pewaukee, Summit Village, Sussex, Wales, & Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Call Milwaukee Divorce Attorney Reiley Today:

To speak with Attorney Reiley regarding your situation, please call (414-369-6309) her or send her an email.

Kathleen Reiley, S.C.
7161 North Port Washington Road, Suite B
Milwaukee (Glendale), Wisconsin, 53217

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 170364
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53217

Located in North Milwaukee in the Glendale community.
Attorney Reiley's practice reaches across Milwaukee County and into surrounding Jefferson, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha counties.