Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
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Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia

Grandparents Visitation Rights in Georgia

Does a grandparent have a legal right to have contact and visitation with grandchildren?  The answer is that without a court order grandparents have no right to visitation but they may request visitation from the court.

Georgia has a grandparent visitation statute which was passed to provide a way for a judge to grant a grandparent visitation rights with grandchildren.  The grandparent visitation statute was passed to encourage continued interaction between grandparents and their grandchildren if they can show that it is in the best interest of the grandchild.

So how does a grandparent file for visitation rights with the court?  A grandparent can file a petition for visitation rights with the grandchild under the following circumstances.  A grandparent may file for visitation rights when the parents are separated and the grandchild is not living with both parents. A grandparent may also file a petition for visitation when another relative has adopted the child and will not let the grandparent visit with the child.

So what does a grandparent have to show in order to get visitation rights?  First, the decision to grant visitation rights is for the most part in the discretion of the judge.  Things the judge will consider and balance when making their decision will be parental rights, the best interest of the child and if denying visitation with the grandparent would harm the child in some way.  With that said, it is up to the grandparent’s to show that it would be in the best interest of the child to visit with them.

Some things the court will look at closely is whether the child ever resided with the grandparents, whether the  grandparents have provided financial support and is there history of visitation between the child and the grandparent.  Most importantly  the Court will ask if denying visitation would harm the child in some way.  The court will also make sure that if it orders visitation that visitation will not interfere with school or extracurricular activities.

Of course there are many other factors the court will look at and the above is just a overview of grandparent visitation in a typical case.  If you are grandparent and are being denied visitation with your grandchild you may wish to discuss with an attorney your options.  Of course , before you file a petition in court try to work out your differences with the parent without going to court. However if all else fails then you may want to seriously consider forcing the parents hand with a petition for grandparent visitation.