Compassionate Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys in Georgia
As compassionate and family-oriented attorneys, we are committed to helping grandparents navigate the legal system to obtain and retain their right to visitation with your grandchildren after a divorce or custody battle.
A failing marriage can have a devastating impact on a child’s relationship with their grandparents.
If one spouse interferes or prevents the other spouse’s parents from seeing the children out of spite or to exert emotional leverage during the divorce, both the children and the grandparents suffer. Arguably, the relationship between a child and their grandparents is second in emotional importance only to that of the parents.
The time spent with grandparents creates memories that children cherish for a lifetime. Georgia law recognizes just how important it is for children to maintain a healthy relationship with their grandparents. Having that relationship ripped apart because of a divorce or custody battle is painful for grandparents and grandchildren alike. Protecting your rights to visitation with or seeking custody of your grandchildren are very complicated matters. It is important to have a skilled and aggressive attorney on your side.
In determining whether to award a grandparent court ordered visitation, the judge must do a 2-part analysis. First, the court must consider what is in the child’s best interest. Secondly, the court must assess whether the child’s “health or welfare” would suffer harm if the child is not allowed visitation with their grandparents. If both requirements are met, the Court will award the grandparent’s visitation.
In considering whether the health or welfare of a child would be harmed if he or she is not able to visit to with their grandparents, the court must consider whether prior to pursuing legal action:
The child lived with the grandparent for six months or more;
The grandparents provided financial support for the basic needs of the child for at least one year;
There was an established pattern of regular visitation or the grandparents provided child care; or
Any other existing circumstance that would indicate that emotional or physical harm would likely result if such visitation is not granted.”
While that certainly makes it sound like the court is on your side, please remember that parents’ rights are often given preference, although the judge has the final decision.
If you are seeking visitation, you may be able to negotiate a suitable arrangement through mediation. If not, an action must be filed with the courts. This can be done only once every two years and is not valid if the child is residing with both parents, providing they are not legally separated.
If you are seeking custody, know that you will need experienced legal counsel and should be prepared for an uphill battle. The “best interest of the child” standard is applied, and there is a general assumption that the “natural parents” meet that standard, so it is up to the grandparent to prove otherwise.
Bardley McKnight Law can help you with grandparents’ rights
What the Court is looking for is an established, healthy relationship between the grandparents and the minor child. Judges believe a child’s relationship with their grandparents should never suffer or be compromised simply because their parents are going through a divorce or custody battle. If you are seeking custody of or visitation with your grandchildren, you need experienced legal counsel on your side.Contact us today at 470-308-5409 for a consultation to discuss your options.