Grandparents can be an integral part of a child’s development as they grow. Having biological grandparents contribute to a child’s life can be all the more important when a child does not live with their biological parents, typically due to a divorce or separation. In New Jersey, grandparents have the option to seek visitation rights when their grandchild does not live with immediate family, and sometimes in other more complicated circumstances.
Visitation rights are more commonly known as time that is spent between a child and their non-custodial parent. However, other circumstances might arise, lending to a case for visitation rights that extend beyond parents. All fifty states have some sort of grandparents’ visitation statute. In New Jersey, the laws sometimes also extend beyond when parents are not the guardians of their children.
Non-parents, such as a grandparent or sibling, can ask the court for visitation rights with a child, even if a parent has physical custody of the child and opposes the visitation. New Jersey enacted these laws to attempt to bridge the gap between a parent’s right to raise their child as they see fit and what is in a child’s best interest.
When a parent opposes the visitation, it is imperative for the person seeking visitation to consult a Somerset child custody lawyer as soon as possible, as it is the responsibility of the person requesting access to prove that their visitation would be in the best interest of the child. Generally, there are eight factors that weigh heavily when a court is making a decision regarding whether grandparents or siblings should be allowed visitation:
When someone needs to involve the court in decisions regarding when a child spends time with adults in his or her life, emotions are typically running high before any legal involvement has occurred. In some cases, visitation can be handled through mediation rather than in front of a court. When this happens, things can be kept civil and the child will likely feel less burdened or stressed by the situation at hand.
However, this may not be a viable option. No matter how the court proceedings or mediation goes, it is important to keep the child’s interests in mind. Weigh how important your involvement in your grandchild’s life is versus the potential stress or mistrust that can develop due to legal action. Finding the right Somerset grandparents’ rights lawyer can help. The right lawyer will keep in mind that there is a child involved and try to maintain the peace while uncomfortable situations are settled either through a court order or mediation.
When it comes to visitation rights, the child is the most important person involved. Our team of Somerset child access lawyers at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon understand the emotions involved in any legal case that involves children. We find the best solutions for each individual family to ensure proper involvement of all parties. Contact us online or call 732-873-6464 to arrange a consultation at our Somerset, New Jersey offices. We offer flexible hours to best suit our clients’ needs.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.