Grandparents have rights that are set out by state law. For example, if necessary, they may seek a court order to allow them to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. The level of involvement may range from seeking visitation to maintain contact with the grandchild to the adoption of the grandchild.
Whatever your concerns are, our compassionate lawyers may be able to help. A team of knowledgeable attorneys in Alpharetta understands grandparents’ rights and how to advocate for them.
Visitation is granted to grandparents to allow grandparents to maintain contact with their grandchildren. Grandparents may seek visitation when parents separate and are refusing contact between the grandparent and the child. Georgia law does not currently allow grandparents to seek visitation if the child’s parents are married.
Grandparents may ask the court for visitation by either filing their own action or by intervening in an existing legal action. A grandparent who files their own action for visitation is limited to filing once every two years. Grandparents may also intervene in an existing court action such as a divorce or child custody proceeding. In Georgia, the court will consider the following factors when determining whether visitation should be granted:
Unlike visitation, custody creates a legal relationship between the grandparent and grandchild. It is very difficult for a grandparent to get custody of a grandchild except in cases where both parents are deemed to be unfit.
Even if a court determines that the parents of the child are unfit, the grandparents will only be granted custody if it is in the child’s best interests. The child’s best interests will include the wishes of the child, the needs of the child, the ability of the grandparents to meet the child’s needs, and the age and health of the grandparents. An attorney can help further explain grandparents’ rights to custody in Alpharetta.
Grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren may also want to consider becoming the child’s legal guardian. Guardianship gives grandparents the legal right to make decisions for the care of their grandchildren.
A legal guardian can make decisions for the child with regards to healthcare decisions and decisions about the child’s education. If grandparents do not have legal guardianship, the parents may be able to take the children back into their care at any time without going through a legal process.
While parents are presumed to have the right to care for their children as they see fit, grandparent’s do have rights. If you are seeking visitation rights or have questions about your rights as a grandparent, a well-versed attorney in Alpharetta can help.
Contact our team today to learn more about your options. Someone in our office can sit with you and help you understand your rights as a grandparent and how to assert them.