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It’s heart-breaking when grandparents are cut off from visiting their grandchildren just because there’s a conflict with the parent. Grandparents can get court-ordered visitation, but it’s not easy, as I explained in my Toledo Blade newspaper column on Sunday.

Judges base their decisions on whatever is in the best interest of the child. That said, judges also must give special weight to the wishes of the parents. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental right to determine how their children are raised. So, judges have the tough job of weighing the parents’ wishes with what they think would be best for the child.

Another reader asked about whether he had a right to cut a tree limb that hung over into his yard. My answer was that at common law, property owners have the right to cut a branch or limb at the point it crosses the property line.

That said, just because the law is on your side doesn’t mean you should do something. I advised that the common sense approach would be to contact the neighbor to see if an agreement can be reached before just chopping away.

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