Subject to certain exceptions, any grandparent shall have the right to file an original action for visitation rights to a minor child, or to intervene in and seek to obtain visitation rights in any action in which any court in the state has before it any question concerning the custody of the minor child.
For example, a grandparent might file a motion to intervene in a divorce action between the parents of such minor child, a termination of parental rights action of either parent of the minor child, a case involving visitation rights to the minor child, or whenever there is an adoption in which the child has been adopted by the child’s blood relative or stepparent.
Importantly, an original action by a grandparent to establish visitation rights is not authorized where the parents of the minor child are not separated and the child is living with both parents. The Court may grant reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that the health or welfare of the child would be harmed unless such visitation is granted, and if the best interests of the child would be served by such visitation. Factors which the court shall consider in making this determination include whether, prior to the filing of the action or intervention, the minor child has resided with the grandparent for six months or more, the grandparent provided financial support for the basic needs of the child for at least one year, there was an established pattern of regular visitation or child care by the grandparent with the child, or any other circumstances exist indicating that emotional or physical harm would be reasonably likely to result if such visitation is not granted.
Our attorneys have an in depth knowledge of the circumstances in which grandparent visitation rights may be considered, and are available to help grandparents understand and consider the options available to them under Georgia law.
When situations arise that either parent are not giving you access to your grandchildren, let the experienced family lawyers at Thompson, Meier & King help you understand the process for arguing for your rights. Contact us at either of our Canton or Blue Ridge offices, providing family law services to all of North Georgia.