You may worry about how your grandchild may be affected by their parents’ or guardians’ divorce. This is because it is difficult for a child to maintain the same lifestyle and routine in its aftermath, no matter the great efforts that may be made. What’s worse, you may worry about how your grandparent-grandchild relationship may be diminished. This is when you may find it necessary to petition for grandparent visitation rights. Read on to discover how grandparents can obtain visitation rights and how a seasoned Bergen County child custody attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help make this possible.
How can grandparents obtain visitation rights in the state of New Jersey?
You may find that you are seeing your grandchild less and less in the aftermath of their parents’ or guardians’ divorce. This may be circumstantial or done intentionally; regardless, you must fight for your visitation rights. To do so, it is recommended to first attempt mediation with your grandchild’s parents or guardians. Here, you may be able to reach an agreement that may be presented to the New Jersey family court to ultimately establish a grandparent visitation order.
However, if mediation is not possible, then you may have to formally petition for a grandparent visitation order. That is, you must submit a petition in the county court in which your grandchild resides, or otherwise in the county court in which your grandchild’s child custody order was established. It is worth mentioning that you may petition for visitation rights even if your grandchild’s parents or guardians initially object to it.
What factors are considered in a visitation petition?
Overall, the New Jersey family court may grant visitation rights to you if it believes that you are a positive addition to your grandchild’s life. More specifically, you may have to demonstrate to the court that denying such rights would be to the detriment of your grandchild. Otherwise, the court may consider these other factors within your visitation petition:
- Whether you are acting in good faith when petitioning for visitation rights of your grandchild.
- Whether you have a history of physical/emotional/sexual abuse, child abandonment/neglect, or alcohol/drug abuse.
- The amount of time you typically spent with your grandchild before their parents’ or guardians’ divorce.
- The type of relationship that you have already established with your grandchild.
- The type of relationship that you have already established with your grandchild’s parents or guardians.
- The impact that your visitation will have on your grandchild’s parents’ or guardians’ preexisting child custody agreement ordered by the court.
You must not question your instinct to retain the services of a competent Bergen County family law attorney. Our team at McNerney & McAuliffe will work to determine what legal option is in your best interest.