Grandparents frequently play an important part in the lives of children, but they generally lack any rights related to their grandkids without the consent of the parents. The law generally defers to the parents in these situations, but there are times when a court might intervene.

Under certain circumstances, a Fairfield grandparents’ rights lawyer can help you preserve and protect your relationship with your grandchildren. This might include providing you with custody or visitation rights in some situations. Let a compassionate family law attorney help you review your options.

The Privilege of Visitation

Visitation is the opportunity for a grandparent to obtain scheduled access with their grandchildren. While a parent has the right to allow visits any time they want, the court might order access in limited situations. This can lead to conflict, especially if the parents object.

In general, the court will consider the best interest of the child when making decisions regarding visitation. While there is a presumption that it is best for the parents to have access, the same is not true for grandparents. They must petition the court for an order allowing a relationship over the parents’ objection. To be successful, a grandparent must establish that denying this relationship will significantly harm the child.

This is a high bar to meet, but it is not impossible. An attorney serving Fairfield can help grandparents understand their right to seek visitation.

Pursuing Custody Rights

There are some situations in which a Fairfield lawyer can help grandparents seek custodial rights. Depending on the circumstances, this could include full or shared custody. As is the case with visitation, it is presumed that it is best for a child to be with a parent. However, Connecticut law provides for ways to rebut that presumption.

There are different ways to approach the issue, starting with adoption. Of course, adoption would either require consent from the parents or for their rights to have been previously terminated. Termination could happen under several circumstances, including following criminal convictions or abandonment. When it comes to orphaned children, it is possible to pursue formal guardianship through probate court. This path can also lead to adoption in the future.

The burden of proof for custody is even higher than visitation. It is not enough to show that a continued relationship will have a beneficial impact or even be what is best for a child. The court must avoid interfering in the rights of the parent unless it is clear that failure to do so will be harmful.

Factors the Court Considers

Any time a judge must consider the question of custody, they will review all the relevant facts before making their final decision. The court will consider any imminent harm that might occur if the petition is not granted, while also reviewing the strength of the relationship between all parties. An experienced attorney could help make the case that granting a petition is best.

Contact a Grandparents’ Rights Attorney in Fairfield Today

When you believe a child in your life would benefit from a continued relationship with you, it may be time to seek legal counsel. Visitation rights are not given out freely, and custody is even more of a challenge. That said, a Fairfield grandparents’ rights lawyer might be able to answer your questions and advise you of your options. Reach out today to schedule an initial consultation.

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