When is Grandparent Visitation Granted by a Judge?
A grandparent can play a major role in a child’s life. They may be the primary choice for babysitting, or going on adventures together to build a lasting bond. In some families, they may even be living together or providing financial support to the child. When a child’s parents go through a divorce, grandparents visitation rights are likely to come up. Here’s how grandparent visitation works in Georgia and what you can do about it as the parent or grandparent.
Grandparent Visitation in Georgia
Grandparents visitation rights have gotten friendlier over the years, but a grandparent still can’t sue if the child’s family is intact. The grandparent must prove that harm will come to the child if they are not allowed to spend time with their grandparent or if their time together is greatly reduced.
Grandparent visitation rights are often granted in the following cases:
- If the child lived with the grandparent for a period of at least six months
- If the grandparent provided financial support for the child’s basic needs for at least one year
- The grandparent has a routine for visiting the child or providing child care
- Other situations where emotional or physical harm would come to the child if they were restricted contact with their grandparent
The judge will also take the parent’s opinion into consideration, though it is not the final say on the matter. The main concern is the emotional and physical wellbeing of the child. If the judge determines that the child would come to emotional or physical harm by restricting access to their grandparent, it is likely that the judge will award grandparents visitation rights.
In cases of adoption, the grandparents visitation rights are revoked unless the child is being adopted by a stepparent or other natural relative.
What You Can Do as a Parent or Grandparent
If you are a parent and want your child’s grandparents to continue to be involved in their life (whether they are your parents or your spouse’s), you can ask the judge to grant grandparents visitation rights. To further back up your request, it helps to provide evidence of the grandparent’s involvement in the child’s life. This can be evidenced by living situations, child care records, phone calls, texts, emails, or financial documents that show the grandparent providing financial support.
If you are a parent and do not want the grandparents to be involved in your child’s life, you can say so to the judge during the hearing. You may also wish to provide evidence that shows why you feel this way. If you can prove there’s a lack of contact between the grandparent and the child, you may be more likely to have grandparents visitation rights revoked.
If you are a grandparent and want to have access to your grandchild, you may ask a sympathetic parent of the child to advocate on your behalf. You may also want to gather evidence of your place in the child’s life by keeping records of visits or virtual contact with the child.
Keeping Children Happy is Our #1 Goal
At Daniele Johnson & Associated, we strive to keep the best interests of the child at heart during every grandparent visitation case. If you share this same value, please contact us today by calling 770-984-5311 or sending a message online. We care deeply about families and will help you do what’s right for yours.
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