When a couple is going through a divorce there can be a lot of negotiating and time in court trying to determine issues such as child custody and visitation between the parents. The issue of
grandparents' rights is oftentimes not discussed and many grandparents' are unaware of the rights that they have. All too often grandparents get cut out of children's lives after a divorce especially when one parent gets custody and they do not want visitation with the grandparents.
If you are dealing with an issue regarding visitation with your grandchild you can call a Marietta divorce attorney today and learn about the options you have. In Georgia, the law provides some limited rights of visitation to grandparents. Under Georgia Code Section 19-9-3 visitation is encouraged between parents and grandparents that show the ability to act in the best interests of the children.
This statute encourages parents to allow grandparents to have responsibilities when it comes to raising the children. This section of Georgia code does not guarantee visitation rights but if you choose to take the matter to court you can present a case and the court may grant you visitation. If the judge finds it in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with their grandparents then they can receive some kind of custody or visitation rights.
Grandparents have the right to seek visitation in Georgia. They can either file a court action for visitation or they can join as a party to legal action that is already in place. If there is already a lawsuit in place regarding parental rights, adoption or any custody or visitation action a grandparent can intervene and be considered as a party. The court will grant some sort of reasonable visitation if they find that:
- It is necessary for the health and welfare of the child
- It is in the child's best interests
To determine whether or not the visitation is necessary for the health and welfare of the child, the court will consider all of the following:
- If the child lived with the grandparent for at least six months
- If the grandparent was a source of financial support for the child for at least one year
- If there was consistent visitation with the grandparent previously
- If there would be harm emotionally or physically for the child if visitation was not granted
If any of these factors hold true for the case at hand the court will most likely decide that grandparent visitation is necessary for the child. If you are facing an issue regarding grandparents' rights in Georgia, contact Henrickson & Sereebutra today and speak with a Marietta divorce lawyer today! We may be able to help you build a compelling case and fight for visitation rights.