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Grandparent Rights in the Anna Nicole Smith Case

Virgie Arthur, grandmother of Daniellynne Smith, five month old daughter of deceased Anna Nicole Smith has flown to the Bahamas.

Daniellynne is in there in the custody of Howard K. Stern and being cared for by his sister and mother.

Grandma says she wants to make sure that Daniellynne is safe. Stern says he wants to keep the baby from her grandmother in accord with Anna Nicole Smith’s wishes.

The US Supreme Court said in Troxel that a parent’s visitation schedule was presumptively in the best interests of the child and therefore better than a grandparent’s visitation schedule. This presumption could be overcome by a grandparent and it may not apply when the parent is proposing no visitation.

The presumption in favor of parents over grandparents has also been applied in custody disputes. The presumption can be overcome by a showing that a parent is unfit, has abandoned the child or there are other unusual circumstances.

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