Jones v. JonesAnnotate this Case
The paternal grandparents of I.J. filed a petition for visitation after the grandparents and I.J.’s mother disagreed over visitation. After a trial, the court ruled in favor of the grandparents, concluding that they had rebutted the statutory presumption “that a parent’s decision with regard to grandparent visitation is in the grandchild’s best interest,” that the grandparents had a substantial relationship with I.J., that denial of visitation had likely caused harm to I.J., and that grandparent visitation was in I.J.’s best interest. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a visitation order under Utah Code 30-5-2 is subject to strict scrutiny review, requiring proof that a grandparent visitation order is narrowly tailored to advance a compelling governmental interest; and (2) because there was no such proof on the record in this case, the grandparents failed to establish a legally sufficient basis for an order of visitation.