Legally Speaking Blog


 

GRANDPARENTS’ VISITATION RIGHTS

 

When divorce and other circumstances lead to the denial of grandparents’ contact with their grandchildren, grandparents may want to consider taking legal action. While they are not granted a constitutional right to do so, state legislatures have passed statutes granting these rights over the past four decades in recognition of the fact that grandparents play a critical role in the upbringing of children. After meeting the statutory conditions for visitation, grandparents must present the factors that courts may or must consider to grant visitation rights. In every state, grandparents must prove that granting visitation to the grandchild is in the “best interest of the child.” This issue should be carefully considered in consultation with an attorney experienced in family law.

All 50 states currently have some type of "grandparent visitation" statute through which grandparents, and sometimes others (foster parents and stepparents), can ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain their relationships with loved children. State laws vary greatly when it comes to the crucial details, such as who can visit and under what circumstances. To learn more, please call my office at (732) 222-8800. I am a tough advocate who is committed to getting the best possible outcome for you. My office is located at 1141 Lincoln Square in Long Branch, where I have served as mayor since 1990.

HINT: When grandparents seek custody of their grandchildren, the court balances the parents’ rights with the child’s best interests.