Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent, you want the best for your children in your life. As a parent, this might mean setting hard boundaries about who gets to spend time with your precious children. As a grandparent, sometimes this requires that you request custody or visitation of a grandchild from your own son or daughter.
Custody involves becoming the legal guardian and caretaker of the children. Visitation rights for grandparents generally refer to the time that is scheduled for a grandparent to spend with their grandchildren. The legal framework that applies to grandparents in the realm of custody and visitation is different from that of biological parents, but grandparents still have the right to request time with their grandchildren.
Disagreements between parents and grandparents can lead to grandparent custody and visitation disputes. If you’re struggling with a family issue involving grandparent rights, you should reach out to a grandparent visitation rights lawyer for assistance.
In What Situations Can I Seek Custody Of Or Visitation With My Grandchild?
When a child lives with both parents in a loving and safe environment, the child’s grandparents are unlikely to receive any legal visitation or custody rights from the court. The child’s parents ultimately decide whether or not the grandparents can spend time with their child, and the court is unlikely to rule in favor of the grandparents.
However, in situations where the family is split up, such as with divorce or the death of one or both parents, grandparents are more likely to be granted custody or visitation rights by the court. This could also apply to situations where the parents were never married, or when the parents no longer have custody of their child.
Custody of a grandchild may be sought when the parents are not or are no longer in the picture. As a grandparent, you may also petition for custody of a grandchild if you believe the parent or parents are not fit, or your grandchild is unsafe. The court generally prefers that children live with close family members to avoid foster care when possible, so you could be granted custody of your grandchildren.
How Does The Court Determine The Rights Of Grandparents?
The main concern when deciding on custody and visitation rights is always the best interest of the child. The court will consider many variables relating to the family dynamics and the relationship between the grandparent(s) and their grandchild, such as:
- Does the child want to see or live with their grandparent(s)?
- Do the grandparents have a close relationship with their grandchild?
- How has the grandparent been involved in the child’s life?
- How will grandparent visitation or custody impact the child?
- And other questions about the child’s well-being and relationships.
For the court to grant you visitation or custody as a grandparent, you will have to provide evidence that this would be in your grandchild’s best interest. For example, this could mean showing you are close with your grandchild, or that you have lived with them or been involved in raising them.
To gain custody of your grandchild is a more difficult process than visitation, especially if one or both parents are still raising their child. The court generally sides with the child’s biological parents, and you would need to prove that the child’s parent or parents are unfit. A grandparent custody rights attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and documentation to move forward with your case.
Understand Your Rights With Help From A Family Lawyer
Situations involving grandparent custody and visitation laws are not always straightforward. For that reason, you need an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate these difficult cases and provide you with an effective legal strategy to address the issues at hand.
Greenberg Legal Group LLC has represented both grandparents seeking custody and visitation, as well as parents defending against such actions, giving us an insightful perspective on how to handle these disputes. If you are concerned about grandparent rights relating to your children or grandchildren, please call our Annapolis, MD, office today at (410) 650-4242.