Grandparent Custody Rights

grandparents laughing and playing with a little girl at breakfast
Dec 18, 2019 | Sara Khaki

And How to Navigate Them

The holidays can be a sensitive time when it comes to visitation. During a divorce, agreements are made between parents about hosting holidays and attending other family events. It can be a stressful time for both parents and children, so it’s no surprise that other parties are overlooked when it comes to making agreements about visitation. One of these overlooked parties is often the grandparents.

After a divorce, grandmothers and grandfathers who have played a role in their grandkids’ lives may not have the ability to see them on a regular basis or during special events, like holidays. It can be frustrating because there’s a level of expectation about spending time with family during the holidays. But it’s important to understand how Georgia state laws may affect child visitation. If you’re a grandparent who is adamant about visiting your grandchildren, there are only two legal circumstances that allow for absolute access:

Petition of custody is achieved when a case is filed with the superior court in which the grandparent shows that parental custody would harm the child or the award of custody to the grandparent is best for promoting the child’s health, welfare, and happiness.

A dependency petition is filed in juvenile court to obtain temporary custody of a child while a parent addresses the issues that make them unable to properly parent the child. In this case, if the parent is able to rectify the issues that caused their child to be taken away by meeting certain conditions set by the court, then custody may be returned to them.

Outside the parameters of these laws, it’s important to remember to trust parents to make the best decisions for their children. A divorce is a stressful process for everyone involved, but as the dust settles, agreements are made. You can find solace in remembering that your grandkids love you no matter what might happen, and they will be thrilled to see you under whatever circumstances the law allows.

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