Most custody battles only involve two people: the child’s parents. However, sometimes, things get more complicated. Here in Georgia, grandparents can also join the fray and fight an uphill battle for custody of their grandchildren. Whether you are married or divorced, if you have kids or grandkids, then you should know these details about grandparents’ rights.
Georgia courts always assume that children are best off living with their parents. However, grandparents can gain custody of their grandchildren if staying with their parents would cause them “physical and emotional harm.”
To exercise their right to custody of their grandchildren, a grandparent must be able to prove that staying with their parents will harm the child and that the grandchild will be healthier and happier with them.
In some cases, grandparents can demand court-ordered visitation. When a family feud turns bitter, parents sometimes separate grandparents from their grandchildren. If this happens here in Georgia, the grandparents might be able to take legal action. They can file for court-ordered visitation if their grandchild does not live with both of their parents, the parents do not have legal rights to their child, or the parents are separated or divorced.
It is important to note that winning visitation is not guaranteed. Unfortunately, Georgia family courts do not care if a grandmother wants to bake cookies with her grandchildren or a grandfather wants to plan a multi-generational fishing trip. To them, the only thing that matters is the well-being of the child. If the grandparents can present “clear and convincing evidence” that the child will be emotionally, mentally, or physically harmed if they are not allowed to see them.
At the Atlanta Divorce Law Group, our team of grandparents’ rights attorneys and family law representatives is dedicated to providing you with caring, top-quality legal services. When you have questions about grandparents’ rights in Georgia, we are here to answer them! We understand that this is a complicated and sensitive subject for parents and grandparents alike. Reach out to our team to learn more about your legal options in your specific set of circumstances.