Unfortunately, there are many instances in which divorcing parents draw a wedge in the relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild. This is especially seen with a custodial parent refusing visitation by the grandparents on the noncustodial parent’s side. So if this is your case, or similar, you may have to make an official request to the New Jersey family court. This may just be the guaranteed way to solidify the time you may spend with your grandchild. Continue reading to learn what your visitation rights are as a grandparent and how an experienced Morristown parenting time lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you exercise the full extent of these rights.
What are grandparent visitation rights in the state of New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey enforces what is known as the Grandparents and Sibling Visitation Statute. Essentially, this statute holds that a grandparent has the right to obtain a visitation order from the New Jersey family court to see a custodial parent’s child. So to officially request for one, you must submit your petition with the New Jersey county court where your grandchild resides or where their custody order was decided.
In this application, you must stress how spending time with your grandchild will work in their best interest. Further, you may even state how this is your grandchild’s preference, so long as they are already of a mature age. If your application is approved, the court may take the parenting time already scheduled and add grandparenting time accordingly.
As a grandparent, is it possible to gain custody rights?
Unfortunately, it may only be under extreme circumstances where the New Jersey family court will approve your petition for custody rights over your grandchild. This is because the court typically assumes that it is rather in your grandchild’s best interest to be cared for by both parents. Without further ado, grandparent custody rights may only be made possible if you can argue one of the following circumstances as true:
- One of your grandchild’s parents willingly relinquishes their custody rights.
- One of your grandchild’s parents denies access to the child without any reasonable grounds.
- One or both of your grandchild’s parents are unable to offer a stable home environment for the child.
- One or both of your grandchild’s parents have employment responsibilities that interfere with the child’s care.
- One or both of your grandchild’s parents have a declining physical or mental health record.
- One or both of your grandchild’s parents have a history of substance abuse or even a criminal record.
- One or both of your grandchild’s parents have a history of domestic violence, child abandonment, or child neglect.
All in all, to maintain the relationship with your grandchild, you must turn to a skilled Morristown family law attorney. So please get in touch with us at Graves Andrews, LLC as soon as you get a free chance.