The courts have expressed grave concerns about imposing visitation over the objections of fit parents. Nevertheless, Georgia law does grant visitation and custody rights to grandparents under specific circumstances. Here at the Berelc Law Firm, we view the best interest of the child as paramount. One of the most important considerations for children is contact with their grandparents and step-siblings. In specific circumstances, if the parent with legal custody attempts to distance their child from the grandparents, it may be possible to petition for a court order to ensure that you will have scheduled visitation.
It is not an unlimited right, however, and it is important to discuss your case with an attorney. There are a series of conditions that must be met, but the rights may be able to be asserted in the case of a divorce, adoption, and termination of parental rights.
In regards to visitation, any grandparent has the right to file an action for visitation rights to a minor child (except where the parents are not separated and the child is living with both parents), or to intervene in and seek visitation rights in any case concerning custody, a divorce of the parents or a parent of the child, a termination of parental rights of either parent, or where there has been an adoption by the child’s blood relatives or by a stepparent.
Any custody contest between the parents and a grandparent must be based on the best interest of the child and what will best promote the child’s welfare and happiness; the presumption that it is in the best interest of the child to be awarded to the parent or parents may be rebutted by showing by clear and convincing evidence (1) that parental custody would harm the child and (2) that an award of custody to the third party would be in the best interest of the child.