What are my rights as a grandparent?

Studies show that grandparents play a significant role in the upbringing of a child. In following with their ultimate goal of preserving the best interests of the child, courts in the United States, including Alabama recognize this importance, and have laws in place to help assure that grandparents can play an active role in a child’s growth and development.

Grandparents are entitled to visitation rights if it can be proven that it is in the best interests of the child, and under certain circumstances, the right of child custody. In some instances, a grandparent must also show that he or she has had a healthy relationship with the child in the past and that failing to have visitation rights with the grandchild will be harmful to the child’s well-being. Every state in the U.S. recognizes the rights of grandparents, though it is not always easy to obtain visitation right or custodial rights.

For custodial rights to be granted, in most cases, there must be exceptional circumstances such as the death of both parents, or a dangerous or unhealthy environment for the child in order to obtain the custodial rights of the child.

Grandparents who are looking to obtain custodial rights or visitation right might find it in their own best interests to speak with a legal professional familiar with family law to learn the best way to proceed in obtaining these rights. Failing to do so on your own may impact your ability to obtain these rights in the future. Arming yourself with a proper team before going to court may prove to be beneficial in obtaining the rights you desire.

Source: findlaw.com, “Requirements for Awarding Grandparent Visitation and Custody,” Accessed Jan. 24, 2017