Divorce can have a significant impact on family dynamics, especially when it comes to the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. In many cases, grandparents may have concerns about their ability to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren after a divorce.
Fortunately, Georgia law recognizes the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren and provides certain rights to grandparents in divorce cases.
Seeking custody or visitation
Grandparents who wish to seek custody or visitation rights in a divorce case should know what to expect from the process:
- They must file a petition with the court requesting custody or visitation rights.
- The court will consider several factors when deciding. These factors include the child’s best interests, the relationship between the child and the grandparent and the ability of the grandparent to provide a safe and stable home environment.
- If the court determines that granting custody or visitation rights to the grandparent is in the child’s best interests, it may award those rights. For example, if the child may suffer physical or mental harm due to the absence of the grandparent.
Note that the court may also consider the preference of the child’s parents when deciding on a grandparent’s visitation rights.
Other legal considerations for grandparents
In addition to seeking custody or visitation rights, grandparents in Georgia also have certain rights under the law:
- If someone other than a stepparent or relative has adopted the grandchild, it may not be possible for the grandparents to get visitation rights.
- If the grandchild is living with a parent who is not the child’s legal parent, the court may grant visitation rights to the grandparents.
- If a grandparent has been the primary caregiver of a grandchild for at least six months, they may have the right to seek custody of the child.
Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, and it is crucial to understand their rights in divorce cases. In this way, you can ensure that you continue to play a meaningful role in your grandchild’s life.