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Do You Have Rights to See Your Grandchildren in New Jersey?

As a grandparent, spending time with grandchildren can be an enriching life experience for all involved. However, when there is a rift in the family due to divorce, separation or death, you might be prevented from seeing your grandchildren. In New Jersey, you can take legal action to request reasonable visitation. Here is what you need to know about the court process involved.

Grandparents must present sufficient evidence to the court that visitation is in the best interests of the child, which generally means the child will benefit from the relationship and will not be harmed by it. There are several factors a court will consider in deciding if grandparental visitation rights will be granted, including:

  1. Your relationship with your grandchild
  2. Your relationship with each of the child’s parents or the child’s caregiver
  3. How long it has been since you last had contact with your grandchild
  4. The impact of your visitation on the relationship between your grandchild and the child’s parents or caregiver
  5. The time-sharing arrangement between the parents regarding the child, if the parents are divorced or separated
  6. Whether there is any history of your having subjected the grandchild to physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect

The court will balance all of these factors and also consider any other factor considered to be relevant. Notably, if you have ever been your grandchild’s full-time caregiver, that fact will be given great weight in favor of awarding visitation rights.

Because the burden of proof is on you to show visitation is in the best interests of your grandchild, it will be beneficial to work with an experienced grandparent’s rights lawyer who can provide you with the support you need to secure your rights. An attorney can also negotiate with the child’s parents to work out a visitation agreement that the court will likely accept. Your lawyer further can assist in enforcing your visitation rights if needed.

At the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset, we are skilled in all aspects of New Jersey family law, including child custody and visitation matters. To schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you pursue your visitation rights as a grandparent, please call 732-873-6464 or contact us online.

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