It is no secret that divorce can alienate certain members of a family. The reasons for a divorce are numerous and the effects can be felt for some time afterward. In some cases, life resumes in a similar way after the divorce is finalized. Yet for some, a couple’s divorce changes everything. When a divorce occurs, family members may not know what their visitation rights are or if they have any at all. Consulting the marriage and divorce experts at Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with everything you need to know about your rights to visitation, whether you are a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or a parent.

Can Grandparents Obtain Visitation Rights?

Grandparents looking to obtain visitation rights for their grandchildren have the right to ask Georgia courts to grant their request. Grandparents can file a court action for visitation with their grandchildren. Once this happens, the court will grant visitation, but only if it finds one of two areas are met. First, the child’s health or welfare would be damaged if the grandparents did not obtain visitation. Georgia courts will also consider whether the visitation is in the child’s best interest or if it will be detrimental to their physical or mental health.

Georgia’s 2016 Visitation Rights Bill

In 2016, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 229 into law. The law was created to prevent parents from stopping family members from visiting their children. The law can grant visitation and intervention to members of the extended family, allowing grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even great-grandparents visitation rights.

Reasons for Granting Visitation Rights

Courts will consider different aspects of the case when it comes to granting grandparents visitation rights. Those include:

  • Whether the child lived with the grandparents for a minimum of six months.
  • Whether the child’s basic needs were provided for financially by the grandparent for one year.
  • Whether the grandparent provided child care or had regular visitation before the divorce or separation.
  • Whether mental, emotional, or physical harm would be done if grandparents were denied visitation.

Children can be greatly affected by divorce and removing family members from regular contact can have a detrimental effect. Courts will do their best to keep a child’s best interests in mind.

Although grandparents and extended family members can receive visitation, it can also be denied by the courts. Once reason for denial is typically due to the judge trusting the decision of the parent. In most cases, the parent’s original decision is seen as what is best for the child.

Vayman & Teitelbaum

The law firm of Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with legal guidance when it comes to visitation and custody. With four locations in Georgia, Vayman & Teitelbaum, Attorneys at Law, is available to give you insight on visitation and custody. Visit our dedicated child custody page to see how we can help you. If you have any questions, contact us and let our experienced attorneys in family law go to work for you.