During a family law case in Georgia and when dealing with custody and visitation of children, the child’s well-being is the priority. In general, people tend to believe these disputes involve the parents. However, it can also involve other family members. That includes grandparents. Grandparents who are seeking court-ordered time with the child will need to understand how to go about their pursuit of those rights. Having help from the start can be essential to reach a favorable outcome.
Health and welfare are vital in a grandparents’ rights case
One critical aspect is showing that the child’s health and welfare will be negatively impacted if there is no contact with the grandparent. As a case proceeds, it is important to have a grasp of this area of the law. The grandparent must first file to receive visitation rights or intervene in the ongoing case. Once this is done, the court must have evidence that the denial of such rights would harm the child. The court will not see the denial as harmful if there was no previous relationship between the grandparent and the child.
The court will look at certain factors to make its determination, but specific issues could be in place to show the court that denying visitation would damage the child. These include the minor child having lived with the family seeking visitation for at least six months; the grandparent providing the child his or her basic needs or financial support for a minimum of one year; a pattern of consistent visitation or child care; or other factors that suggest there would be some form of harm – emotional or physical – without the visitation rights.
Grandparents should know the law when seeking visitation with grandchildren
Grandparents’ rights can be sought for many reasons. Perhaps there was an ongoing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild that would be threatened as part of the divorce, custody and visitation determination. There is a possibility that the child’s safety is in jeopardy. Or there could be an acrimonious divorce in which the parents do not want to grant the spouse’s grandparents access. Regardless of the reason, it is imperative to understand the law and how the child’s health and welfare are assessed. Professionals who are experienced in these situations can be of assistance.