If your grandchild’s parents are legally separating or filing for divorce, it is natural to be concerned about your rights to visitation or custody. Because the court generally maintains that it is in the child’s best interests to remain with their parents, obtaining custody rights as a grandparent can be difficult. To gain visitation rights or custody of your grandchildren, you must be able to prove several critical points in court.
If you are interested in gaining visitation or custody rights of your grandchild, you should consider retaining a skilled family law attorney. A New Haven grandparents’ rights lawyer can inform you of the legal options available to you.
Any grandparent who wishes to obtain custody must be able to argue against the overriding assumption that it is in the child’s best interests to stay with their parents. Generally, this means that grandparents need to show the court that they have already established a parental connection with the child in order to be awarded custody.
There are a few other situations in which it may be appropriate for a grandparent to request custodial rights. For instance, if both of the child’s parents have passed away, a grandparent may secure custody of their grandchild.
Additionally, if a surviving parent is unable to adequately care for the child, the court may look favorably on a petition for custody from the grandparents. A local attorney can work with a grandparent to show the court that giving custody rights to the biological parents would oppose the child’s best interests and place them in danger.
Grandparents do not automatically have visitation rights, though they can request such privileges. The requirements to request visitation as a grandparent are much like those needed to obtain custody.
A grandparent must prove that they have a connection with their grandchild similar to that of a parent. They must also show that the court’s refusal to grant visitation would jeopardize the well-being of the child. A lawyer in the area can help grandparents gather evidence to prove their connection to their grandchild.
In addition to understanding the burden of proof that must be met for a grandparent to obtain visitation or custody rights, it is also crucial to be aware of the factors the court considers when determining whether to grant or deny the petition. When determining whether a refusal to grant visitation or custody would adversely affect the child’s best interests, the court may consider:
A dedicated grandparents’ rights attorney in New Haven can prepare a case that addresses these deciding factors.
If you are considering seeking visitation or custody rights of your grandchild, you should speak with a New Haven grandparents’ rights lawyer. For more information about your legal options and rights under state law, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.
A member of our legal team would be happy to speak with you about your case. Call today to book a consultation with a family law attorney.