Child custody cases in New Jersey can be complex, especially when grandparents are involved. If a parent will not allow a grandparent to spend time with their grandchild, this can be an emotionally and legally difficult situation. Here’s what you need to know about grandparents’ visitation rights.
Grandparents Have the Right to Ask the Court for Visitation
All 50 states, including New Jersey, have recognized that it is often in the child’s best interest to have a continuing relationship with their grandparents. This is part of the goal to decrease the amount of disruption in the child’s life. Therefore, a grandparent has the right to ask the court during a child custody case to have visitation with the child.
If, for example, custody of the child was awarded to the mother and out of spite, she refuses the child’s paternal grandmother visitation because they never got along during the marriage, the grandmother would be able to petition the court for visitation rights. If awarded, the child’s mother would be required to comply and allow the child to have visitation with the grandmother.
Factors That Are Considered in Grandparents’ Visitation Cases
The court considers numerous factors in a grandparents’ visitation case, including but not limited to:
- The current relationship between the child and the grandparent
- How much time has passed since the child had contact with the grandparent
- Whether visitation with the grandparent will have a positive or a negative effect on the child
- What the current timesharing, custody, or visitation arrangements are between the child’s parents
- Whether the grandparent has been the perpetrator of physical, mental, or emotional abuse against the child
- The motivation of the grandparent to obtain visitation
- Other factors that may be relevant to the well-being of the child
Typically, grandparents who wish to gain visitation rights do so when the parent(s) of the child are preventing them from continuing the relationship. Often, courts will grant visitation in these cases.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today
If you are a grandparent of a child going through a custody case and wish to have legally established visitation rights to the child, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Rita T. Jerejian, LLC is a compassionate, caring child custody lawyer who can provide you with zealous legal representation during this challenging time.
Call today for a consultation to discuss your legal needs and the specifics of your case at (201) 489-7714.