A child’s familial relationships are often at the forefront of divorce and family law cases. Whether the matter is a divorce, relocation, or other issues, the court will work in the best interests of the child subjected to the split. Family law issues can be emotional. Understandably, it is tough to end a relationship and resolve marital issues. Child custody is one of the most contested issues in a divorce. If one parent loses custody because of a serious issues that deems them unfit to parent, other family members may be impacted as well.
Sole custody is rare. Often, a co-parenting structure is agreed to or decided by the court. When a grandparent, who has been a significant part of a child’s life, is cut off and loses access to their grandchild, they may need to take legal action to secure their relationship.
Grandparents have the right to request visitation orders from the court. Being a blood relative is not enough to gain access to the child. A court will consider many factors to assess the strength of the relationship. The burden of proof is high.
Some of the factors include the bond between the child and the applicant, the relationship between the custodial guardian and the child, the time that has passed since the child saw the applicant, the effect these rights would have on the parent/child relationship, and more.
If the applicant once held the position of primary caregiver for the child, that fact will act as evidence to grant the request, unless the custodial parent can prove otherwise.
If you are a grandparent that faces a hostile custodial parent, you should consider your legal options. You do have rights. When facing such a significant legal matter, it is important to have quality legal support that can help you develop a comprehensive strategy to meet the state’s burden of proof. Contact an attorney today.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.