Grandparents have no automatic right to visitation with their grandchildren, but they can pursue visitation rights in court with the help of a skilled attorney. An attorney could fight for you to visit your grandchildren. For more information about grandparents’ rights to visitation in Gwinnett County, contact our team of accomplished legal professionals.
The courts see no difference between maternal or paternal grandparents. If a child is born to unmarried parents who never get married, the biological father must file a legitimate case to establish his legal paternity. A father who does not establish legitimacy could cause some issues for paternal grandparents who are attempting to pursue visitation rights.
Grandparents in Gwinnett County can file a petition for visitation in two ways, the first of which is filing an original petition for visitation while there are no pending cases regarding the children. The second option is intervening in a pending court case such as divorce, termination of one or more of a parent’s rights, or relative adoption. However, these options are not available if the parents are still together and the child lives with both parents.
There are many situations where the grandkids live with both parents but are kept from seeing their grandparents. According to Georgia law, parents can decide whether a grandparent has a relationship with the grandchildren. Gwinnett County grandparents can seek visitation rights through the courts only if the parents are not together and the child is not living with both parents.
Grandparents in Gwinnett County who want to join a pending case as a party must file a motion to intervene. For example, if the parents are in the middle of a divorce case, grandparents can file a motion asking the judge to allow them to join as a party into that divorce case so they can pursue visitation rights. However, it is a permissive intervention and requires a judge’s approval. If permission is granted, joining an existing case is more efficient than having different cases going on at different points in time.
A grandparent must show with clear and convincing evidence that the health and welfare of their grandchildren will be harmed if they do not get visitation. Alternatively, proving that their grandchildren would suffer harm if visitation is not granted would be harder for a grandparent who has never been allowed to build a relationship with them.
The burden of proof for visitation claims in Gwinnett County is smaller than that of custody claims. There does not have to be an issue with the parenting of either parent for a grandparent to pursue visitation rights, because the most essential prerequisite is that the parents are not together and the children are not living with both parents.
Applying for visitation rights can be straightforward or complex depending on the circumstances surrounding the grandchildren. In either case, grandparents seeking visitation rights in Gwinnett County can call a knowledgeable family lawyer for more information about what to expect from the legal process.