Guiding You In Grandparents’ Rights Matters
In many families, grandparents play a vital role in raising their grandchildren. In certain circumstances, grandparents may have good reason to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren. These situations require a lawyer who understands these complex legal issues. At Lise S. Kaplan, LLC, in Macon, Georgia, our law firm works with families of all types. If you are a grandparent who wants to pursue custody or visitation of a grandchild, we will carefully review the facts and circumstances of your situation and help you pursue the best possible strategy.
What Are My Rights As A Grandparent?
Grandparents are not automatically given rights to a grandchild. In fact, under Georgia law, grandparents cannot request visitation if the parents are married and living together. If, however, parents are divorced or separated, or if one parent is deceased, grandparents can request visitation from the court. Courts will look at many factors, the most significant of which are:
- Would the child’s health or welfare be harmed if the court did not grant visitation?
- Is visitation in the child’s best interests?
When considering the first factor, courts will consider certain facts such as:
- If the grandchild lived with the grandparent for at least six months
- If the grandparent provided financial support for the child for at least a year
- If the grandparent had an established pattern of child care and visitation
- If denying visitation is likely to lead to physical or emotional harm to the grandchild
If a grandparent can prove the above factors, the court may determine that visitation is in the grandchild’s best interests.
For grandparents seeking child custody, it must be shown that parental custody would harm the child and that an award of custody to the grandparent would be in the child’s best interest. The presumption is that it is best for children to be in the custody of at parent, but this may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
In either case, attorney Lise S. Kaplan understands the delicate nature of these situations and will provide skilled counsel and advice. She has dedicated her entire career to handling family law cases issues and is well-known throughout the legal community for her work.