When a couple makes the difficult decision to separate, it has a ripple effect that extends beyond themselves, reaching their children and their relationships with their grandparents. Grandparents play an integral role in the lives of their grandchildren as they often assume a significant responsibility in raising them. Despite the common misconception of grandparents being mere playmates for their grandchildren, they also serve as irreplaceable role models and mentors, instilling values and providing support during difficult times. Given the crucial role that they play in their grandchildren’s lives, many grandparents seek to obtain visitation rights, especially when they’ve been wrongly denied the ability to foster a relationship with their grandchildren as a result of a rift between the child’s parents. If you’re a grandparent seeking visitation rights, you should enlist the help of a trusted Pensacola Family Law Attorney who can help you file a petition with the court to preserve your relationship with your grandchild.
Do grandparents have visitation rights?
Fortunately, if you’re a grandparent, you have legal rights regarding your grandchildren. Grandparents hold the right to petition the court to request visitation with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, every case is unique, meaning there is no guarantee that a grandchild and grandparent will be reunited. However, it does provide the opportunity to prove that granting visitation rights would be in their grandchildren’s best interests.
The court’s top priority in every case regarding children is to make decisions based on their best interests, ensuring their emotional, mental, and physical well-being is safeguarded. Therefore, the court requires that grandparents demonstrate that their visits are necessary to avoid harming the child, as depriving them of a relationship with their grandparents would negatively impact their well-being.
What factors will the court consider?
When grandparents seek visitation rights, the court considers various factors before deciding. While the best interests of the child remain paramount, other considerations are also weighed. The following include but are not limited to some factors that could impact the court’s decision regarding grandparent visitation:
- The prior relationship between the grandparent and their grandchildren
- The relationship between the child’s parent and the grandparent
- The effect the proposed visit would have on the relationship between the child and their parents
- The parents schedule time with the child if they are separated
- How much time has passed since the grandparent has had a relationship with the child
- Any other relevant factors
If the court, after evaluating these factors, determines that a grandparent should not be denied visitation as it would harm the grandchildren, then they would be awarded visitation.
If you have an issue pertaining to grandparent visitation rights, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled attorney from The Law Office of James M. Burns, who can help you demonstrate that the loss of the relationship would negatively impact your grandchild’s best interests. We are prepared to help you fight to protect your rights.