Grandparents often serve as significant role models for and, in some cases, custodial guardians of their grandchildren. Unfortunately, family disputes and parental misconduct can jeopardize the grandparent-grandchild relationship.
If you are a grandparent in a family divided by conflict, a Stamford grandparents’ rights lawyer can assist you. Our dedicated family attorneys can work to protect your rights and future to a relationship with your grandchildren.
Unfortunately, grandparents do not have a de facto legal right to visit their grandchildren under state law. As such, a grandparent generally cannot visit their grandchild over the parents’ objection without first taking legal action.
To sustain a petition for visitation, a grandparent must prove by clear and convincing evidence that they have a “parent-like” relationship with their grandchild, and that denying visitation would cause significant harm to the grandchild.
A family court judge may consider numerous statutory factors to determine if a grandparent has a parent-like relationship with the child, including:
A grandparent must demonstrate that they have had regular contact and a close relationship with their grandchild. A dedicated attorney can further explain grandparents’ visitation rights and their legal options for seeking or maintaining contact in Stamford.
Parents have a fundamental right to parent their children as they see fit. However, this right is not absolute. If a parent cannot properly care for their child or their conduct is at odds with the child’s wellbeing, a grandparent has the right to step in and request primary custody.
There are multiple ways grandparents can become their grandchild’s custodian. A grandparent can request that a Connecticut probate court appoint them guardian of their grandchild. They may be awarded custody if the parents are unable to raise their child. Grandparents can also informally assume custody, although doing so does not provide them any legal custodial rights.
Finally, if a court terminates the parents’ legal rights to their child, a grandparent can pursue an adoption. A grandparent adoption provides the grandparent with the same legal rights and responsibilities as a parent. A seasoned lawyer in Stamford familiar with grandparents’ rights can file an adoption petition and argue that a child is best served in the grandparent’s custody.
Family relationships can be complicated, particularly if family members have different ideas regarding what is best for their children. When grandparents and their grandchildren’s parents do not get along, the family can be further divided.
Grandparents can assert their right to custody or visitation with their grandchildren, but Connecticut laws are complex and are best navigated by a knowledgeable Stamford grandparents’ rights lawyer. If your relationship with your grandchildren is threatened, discuss your goals with our compassionate legal team today.