Under Wisconsin law, a grandparent may petition the court for visitation or custody rights to a grandchild so long as certain provisions are met. The primary consideration of the court is always the best interests of the child, and the court may also seek the child's direct opinion on matters of visitation. The child's opinion will have a strong bearing on the court's decision. If a child has previously had a positive relationship with the grandparent, and that relationship has been disrupted or threatened in some way, then the grandparent can take legal action to maintain it.
Other factors regarding grandparent rights also have a strong bearing on the court's decision. The grandparent must be able to show that they he or she is directly related to the grandchild through either parent. This may involve a paternity test if the grandparent is on the father's side. There are some circumstances that may bar a grandparent from having visitation rights. For example, the child cannot have been adopted by a different family. This could occur if the parental rights of the original biological parents were terminated.