Grandparent Visitation - protecting the relationship when your grandchildren's parents get divorced

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Grandparent Visitation - protecting the relationship when your grandchildren's parents get divorced

When parents divorce, the relationships a child has with their grandparents can often become collateral damage. Thankfully, in Georgia, grandparents have the opportunity to protect their right to continue visiting with their grandchildren through the court system. This right is found in Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) Section 19-7-3, regarding when a grandparent is able and is not able to request court-ordered visitation with their grandchild or grandchildren. By filing a grandparent visitation action, grandparents can ask for court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. This not only ensures that the grandparent-grandchild relationship remains intact, but also provides stability and routine for the child during a difficult time. While divorce can be painful for all involved, it's reassuring to know that grandparents have legal options to maintain their important role in their grandchildren's lives.

Grandparent visitation even without a divorce case

As a grandparent, there is nothing quite like spending quality time with your grandchild. However, sometimes circumstances can make it difficult to do so - such as when your relationship with the grandchild's parent or parents turns south. Fortunately, in Georgia, the law recognizes the importance of these relationships and provides provisions for grandparents to ask for visitation rights even if there is not a pending divorce case. This means that as long as the parents of the grandchild are not married, the grandparents can seek visitation rights at any time. It's important to note that this is a rare exception to the usual protocol for custody and visitation cases, specifically created to protect the grandparent-grandchild relationship. If you find yourself in this situation, it's essential to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process so that you can continue to build cherished memories with your grandchild.

What the court looks at in deciding to grant or deny grandparent visitation

When it comes to grandparent visitation actions in Georgia, the court takes the health and welfare of the child seriously. The court will carefully consider if there would be any harm to the child if visitation with the grandparents is not granted and evaluate if visitation is in the child's best interest. This evaluation includes evidence of a preexisting relationship between the child and their grandparents. If the child has lived with their grandparents for six or more months in the past or if the grandparents have provided financial support for the child's basic needs, it may help with the granting of visitation. Additionally, if there was already a set and regular pattern of visitation between grandparent and grandchild, this will help as well. The court also looks at any other circumstance that may be exist to show that emotional or physical harm to the child would be highly likely if the court denied visitation with the grandparents. While navigating these legal matters can be daunting, it is important to remember that the court's focus is on the well-being of the child.

How often you can request for grandparent visitation

Grandparent visitation actions in Georgia can be a complex issue to navigate. While it is always heartwarming to see grandparents maintain a healthy relationship with their grandchildren, the legal process surrounding grandparent visitation requires attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the restrictions in place. In Georgia, grandparents can only file for an original visitation request case once every two years, and cannot file if another custody action regarding the children is ongoing. However, there is still a pathway for grandparents to maintain their relationship with their grandchildren, even if custody is being contested. Grandparents have the ability to intervene in the open custody matter, ensuring that their voices are heard and their familial relationships are preserved. Understanding the ins and outs of grandparent visitation actions can be daunting, but with the help of a knowledgeable legal professional, grandparents can navigate the legal system with confidence and ease.

When visitation can be changed

Grandparent visitation rights are an important consideration in the state of Georgia. However, after these rights have been granted, the legal custodian or guardian or parent of the child may request changes if they can show good cause for doing so. The court will then assess the situation and make a decision based on the best interests of the child. While it is possible to modify grandparent visitation rights, it is important to note that, like requesting visitation, this can only be done once every two years. Understanding the parameters around grandparent visitation rights can help ensure the best outcome for all involved parties.


At Your Law Firm, we recognize that the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren is truly unique and special. Unfortunately, circumstances may arise that prevent grandparents from seeing their beloved grandchildren. This is where our legal team comes in. We're here to help grandparents in Georgia navigate the legal system to ensure that their visitation rights are respected and upheld. Our attorneys understand that these types of issues can be emotional and overwhelming, which is why we provide compassionate and personalized guidance every step of the way. If you're a grandparent seeking legal assistance in this matter, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help.