The relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is special, and many people look forward to this time in their lives. Sadly, various obstacles can prevent the connection and regular contact you want with your grandchildren. The law allows a grandparent to petition for time spent with their grandchild under some circumstances. A caring child custody attorney can help.

Discuss your situation with a Crabapple grandparents’ rights lawyer. If your circumstances allow, our team can file a petition for visitation with your grandchildren. Even if your situation does not fit within family law’s parameters for a visitation petition, we can direct you to other useful resources.

Grandparents Have Rights in Some Circumstances

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-7-3 allows grandparents to seek visitation rights if one of the child’s parents dies or they separate or divorce. A grandparent has no right to seek visitation if both a grandchild’s parents are alive and living together.

When parents meet their children’s basic needs and provide a safe home, family law supports parents’ rights to raise their children as they choose. Unfortunately, this gives them the right to deny grandparents contact with their grandchildren for any reason.

If someone is not seeing their grandchildren because of a rift in the family, they have little legal recourse. A Crabapple attorney can help find grandparents further understand their rights and find a mediator or family counselor to help them resolve their familial issues. In time, this could result in forming or resuming a relationship with their grandchild.

When Can Grandparents Ask a Court for Visitation?

Individuals can file a petition seeking contact with their grandchildren if the children live with only one parent because of divorce, separation, or death. Family law favors continuing contact between grandchildren and both sides of their family when the children live with only one parent.

It is also possible to intervene in any legal action concerning custody matters. Such actions include:

  • Divorce or custody proceedings between the parents;
  • An action to terminate one or both parents’ parental rights;
  • A petition for a stepparent or blood relative to adopt a grandchild.

Georgia courts might appoint a Guardian ad Litem to determine whether it is in the children’s best interests to have contact with a grandparent. A Crabapple attorney can represent grandparents’ rights and present evidence demonstrating that denying contact with them could harm the child.

How a Judge Determines Grandparent Visitation Rights

Georgia courts must consider the children’s best interests when deciding parental custody and visitation. When the question concerns grandparent visitation, family courts use an additional standard. Grandparents must prove that visitation is in the child’s best interest and that denying this would be harmful to the child.

A judge can presume denying visitation would be harmful in specific circumstances, such as if the grandparent:

  • Provided a home for the child for at least six months;
  • Provided the child’s food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs for at least one year;
  • Regularly provided childcare;
  • Had a regular pattern of visitation with the child.

A Crabapple attorney can collect and present all the available evidence showing that the relationship between grandparent and grandchild has value and that the child might suffer harm if this relationship is interrupted.

Trust a Crabapple Grandparents’ Rights Attorney When Seeking Visitation

Being denied access to your grandchildren can be heartbreaking for you and them. It is a tragedy when a personal crisis or dispute interferes with that precious relationship.

No matter what caused the situation, a Crabapple grandparents’ rights lawyer can suggest workable solutions. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified team members.

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