While not as common as cases involving parental rights, we do see quite a few grandparent's rights cases that involve visitation and (less commonly) custody. If you're a grandparent, you might wonder when you have the right to claim legal visitation and custody—and you might not even know that you had these rights.
The relationship that exists between a child and their grandparents is important and should be encouraged. Unfortunately in child custody cases, maintaining regular contact despite differences between the parents can prove challenging. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, our family law attorneys have been representing families in our area since 1988 who struggle with these types of situations. Our team uses creative strategies to ensure you remain a part of your grandchild’s life, while defending your rights under Georgia laws.
The Role of Grandparents in Child Custody Matters
During a divorce or other types of family law proceedings, issues pertaining to child custody are among those most hotly contested. While the child’s parents tend to be at the forefront in these situations, grandparents may be all but forgotten. Fortunately, the laws in our state support a grandparents legal right to see and spend time with their grandchildren. Under the Georgia Code (O.C.G.A. 19-7-3), grandparents may file a petition seeking visitation in any custody action, including cases involving divorce, termination of parental rights, and adoption. The same guidelines for determining parenting time are used in these proceedings:
- The age and health of the child and grandparents;
- Their locations and the distance between residences;
- The previous, established relationship between the grandparents and the child;
- The ability of the grandparents to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs.
Our Family Law Attorneys Will Stand Up for Your Rights
If you are being denied access or visitation with your grandchildren, reach out and contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today. Our Georgia family law attorneys provide the personalized, professional legal service you need to help ensure your rights are protected.