When child visitation is discussed, it is often thought of in terms of the arrangement between the parents and the child. However, there are circumstances where grandparents may be involved as well and want to seek visitation rights.
In Georgia, a grandparent can file an action for visitation rights and the court may grant these rights if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child. The court may consider whether the child’s health or welfare would be harmed if the visitation is not granted.
It may find that harm would be reasonably likely to occur where, prior to the filing of the action, the child resided with the grandparent for six months or more, the grandparent provided financial support for the child’s basic needs for at least one year or any other circumstance that indicates emotional or physical harm could occur if the visitation is not granted.
The grandparent’s visitation, however, cannot interfere with a child’s school schedule.
Reasons for visitation
Grandparents may seek visitation with their grandchildren in many situations. They may have safety concerns when a parent’s substance abuse makes him or her unable to properly care for the child.
They may also have concerns for the child’s emotional well-being in situations where the child’s parents are involved in a difficult divorce or separation.
If the child’s parent is deceased, the grandparent may also want to be involved to provide love and support.
Family structures are unique and each situation is different. However, grandparents who have questions about the visitation process may find the guidance of an experienced attorney helpful.