Navigating Grandparent Visitation Rights in Georgia
As a family law attorney, I’m often asked, “Can a parent deny a grandparent visitation in Georgia?”
The short answer is: yes – unless there is a valid court order granting a grandparent legal visitation rights with their grandchild.
How do you get such an order of visitation rights?
Let’s take a closer look at the process and what grandparents are and are not entitled to in the Peach State.
Grandparents Rights in Georgia
In Georgia, grandparents do have specific rights when it comes to visiting their grandchildren – but only in the instances where the parents of the children are separated or if there is ongoing court action regarding the custody of the children.
As such, these rights are not absolute.
Successfully getting an order of grandparent visitation from the court depends on several factors, including the best interest of the child, the relationship between the grandparent and the child, and specific circumstances surrounding the family’s situation.
Georgia Code 19-7-3
The Georgia Code 19-7-3 is the specific law that addresses grandparent visitation rights.
According to this statute, grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights if they can provide clear and convincing evidence that the child’s health or welfare would be harmed if visitation is not granted, and that it is in the best interest of the child to have such visitation.
However, as we saw above, this can only happen if the child’s parents are separated (and the child does not live with both parents) or if there is already an open court case involving the custody of the child.
If you’re curious to find out whether you can ask the court for these rights, reach out to a local grandparent visitation attorney today.
Grandparents Visitation Rights in Georgia
While grandparents do have the opportunity to gain legal visitation rights in Georgia, it’s important to note that these rights are secondary to the parents’ rights.
If the parents are found to be suitable and competent, their decisions regarding visitation are usually respected by the court.
Only if you can prove that the child would be harmed by the parent or parents blocking grandparent visitation, and that it is in the child’s best interest to have visitation with their grandparent will you be successful in your petition for these rights.
How Much Visitation Can Grandparents Get Georgia
The amount of visitation a grandparent can get in Georgia varies based on each individual case.
Factors such as the child’s age, the child’s relationship with the grandparent, and the potential impact of visitation on the child’s daily routine are taken into account.
According to Georgia Code 19-7-3, if the court grants visitation, then it cannot be less than 24 hours per month.
Can Grandparents Sue for Visitation Rights in Georgia
Yes, grandparents can sue for visitation rights in Georgia.
They must file a petition in court and present compelling evidence that visitation with them is in the child’s best interest.
How Do I File for Grandparents’ Rights in Georgia
To file for grandparents’ rights in Georgia, you must first file a petition in the Superior Court of the county where the child resides.
This process can be complex and it’s recommended to seek legal counsel to ensure all procedures are correctly followed.
Difference Between Grandparent Visitation and Grandparent Custody
It’s important to understand the difference between grandparent visitation and grandparent custody.
Visitation rights allow grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren, but do not give them the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s welfare.
On the other hand, grandparent custody involves taking over the parental responsibilities for the child, which is a much more complicated legal process.
While a parent can deny a grandparent visitation in Georgia, the court may intervene if it’s in the best interest of the child.
We always advise you to seek out a local family law attorney for advice in such matters to ensure the rights and interests of all parties involved are well represented and protected.