The connection that a child has to their grandparents is often one of the strongest bonds in their life. Although grandparents do not have exactly the same rights as parents, Georgia law does recognize the importance of their influence on their grandchildren.

With advocacy from a hardworking attorney, grandparents can seek visitation or even custody of their grandchildren in certain situations. If you need legal support in advocating for your rights, a dedicated Cherokee County grandparents’ rights lawyer can help.

Can Grandparents Seek Custody of Grandchildren?

Georgia law states that a court’s sole consideration in any custody case will be what is best for the welfare of the child. This allows grandparents and other close relatives to seek custody of children if they can establish that the awarding of custody would be vital for the child’s welfare.

However, Georgia courts will also presume that it is in a child’s best interests to remain with their parents. Therefore, when a grandparent seeks custody of a child, they will need a persuasive local attorney to present an argument that counters this presumption. A grandparents’ rights lawyer can help to gather relevant evidence for the case and argue that a child’s health and happiness would be better served with their grandparent.

Can Grandparents Seek Visitation for Grandchildren?

The Grandparents Visitation Statute in Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-7-3 provides a way for grandparents to file for visitation rights of minor children. However, when a court considers granting visitation rights, the determining factor will be whether it is best for the child to allow grandparent visitation. To make its decision, the court will analyze whether it would harm the health and emotional well-being of the child to be deprived of their grandparent’s visitation.

It is not enough to only demonstrate that a grandparent does not have the opportunity to see the child. The grandparent and their attorney must instead bring clear and convincing evidence that the child would be harmed without visitation. This is a high standard of proof to meet, and the courts will decide each case based on its specific facts. A grandparents’ rights attorney can collect information and argue to a Cherokee County judge that grandparent visitation is necessary for a child’s welfare.

The factors a court may consider in making such a decision include:

  • Whether the child lived with the grandparent for a significant length of time;
  • Whether the grandparent provided financially for the child for a year or more;
  • Whether the grandparent routinely offered childcare;
  • Any other circumstances that the court may find relevant.

Grandparents also have a right to intervene in certain other proceedings, such as parents’ divorce, termination of parental rights, and adoption. Grandparents in Cherokee County who wish to better understand their legal rights should speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Call a Cherokee County Grandparents’ Rights Attorney for Guidance

As with all determinations that impact children, the law in Georgia on grandparents’ rights prioritizes children’s welfare above any other considerations. If you are concerned about your grandchild’s well-being, reach out to a Cherokee County grandparents’ rights lawyer. Call today to learn how our legal team can work toward a favorable outcome in your case.

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