The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is very special. It can be heartbreaking for a grandparent if a parent of their grandchild is not allowing them to have a relationship.
Fortunately, Georgia, like many other states, allows grandparents to seek visitation rights. If you are wondering what rights grandparents have to visitation, an Alpharetta lawyer may be able to help.
There are two primary ways a grandparent can ask a court for visitation. First, a grandparent may file their own court action seeking visitation with the grandchild. Second, a grandparent can intervene or join an existing legal action.
In the first scenario, grandparents are limited to filing an action for grandchild visitation once every two years. Grandparents generally cannot seek visitation with a grandchild who currently lives with both parents who are still together and object to the grandparents’ visitation. In these cases, the courts usually leave the decision to allow grandparent visitation to the child’s parents.
Grandparents also have the option to intervene in an existing court action such as a divorce or child custody action between the parents of the child or an open action for the termination of parental rights. Additionally, in an open action for the adoption of the child by a step-parent or another relative, grandparents may also intervene.
The state law in Georgia regarding grandparent visitation has no presumption in favor of granting visitation. The state statute specifies that the court must consider whether the child will be harmed without visitation. It also specifies four situations it will consider in determining whether the child would be harmed without the visitation::
In addition, courts in Georgia will consider the best interests of the child when determining whether to grant grandparents visitation. For more information about grandparent visitation in Alpharetta, speak with a knowledgeable attorney.
A grandparent may feel that it is in their grandchild’s best interest to have visitation, but the courts have set out common factors to consider when determining the child’s best interest. Some of these factors include:
The grandparent-grandchild relationship is a precious one. That makes it an important relationship to protect and preserve. If possible, grandparents may want to consider mediation when seeking visitation rights.
It is usually in the child’s best interest for parents and grandparents to resolve issues amicably. However, in some cases, litigation is necessary. Regardless of the situation, an attorney can help advocate for grandparent visitation in Alpharetta.