Children sometimes consider their grandparents as extra parents. When children establish a strong connection with their grandparents, the relationship becomes integral to their growth and development. Unfortunately, situations like divorce change family dynamics and cut grandparents’ visitation time to their grandchildren.
When parents deny their children’s grandparents visitation schedules, what can the latter do? Fortunately, even though grandparents do not have the same legal rights as parents, courts allow them to petition for visitation rights.
When can I request visitation rights?
While New Jersey allows grandparents to request visitation rights to their grandchildren, they must effectively prove that the request’s approval is in the child’s best interest. Otherwise, the courts will likely deny their petition. The court will consider the following factors for its decision:
- The grandparent-grandchild relationship
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The last time the child had contact with the grandparent
- The possible effect of visitation on the child’s relationship with their parents
- The time-sharing agreement, if any
- The petitioning grandparent’s good faith
- Any history of violence, neglect and abuse by the petitioner
The court may also consider other factors not on the list relevant to maintaining the child’s best interests.
Build a strong case
Grandparents can have a great impact on a child’s development and denying them visitation schedules would be depriving the child’s well-being. If you are a grandparent who believes that regular visits to your grandchild are necessary to protect their best interests, it is essential to gather relevant evidence and possibly seek advice from a professional to establish a strong case for you.