Hackensack Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

Grandparents in Hackensack often serve an important role in the development of their grandchildren, particularly in situations where families are divided due to trauma, divorce, or other circumstances. However, sometimes family members with custody seek to deny grandparents the opportunity to interact with their grandchildren.

While state law grants certain rights to grandparents, the process of enforcing these rights sometimes proves complicated. A Hackensack grandparents’ rights lawyer may be able to help. When you consult with a skilled family attorney who understands the complexities of issues connected with the rights of grandparents, you could more effectively work to meet your objectives while trying to minimize conflict.

Grandparent Visitation Statute

The good news for grandparents seeking to enforce their right to spend time with their grandchildren is that New Jersey has adopted a statute explicitly granting both grandparents and siblings the right to apply to the court for a visitation order.  Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:2-7.1, the relative seeking the order must demonstrate that it is in the best interests of the child to grant visitation.

A dedicated Hackensack attorney could work to collect and utilize evidence to make a grandparents’ rights case that visitation serves the child’s best interests. It should be noted that a New Jersey state law specifies that courts must consider the following factors when determining whether to grant an order for visitation:

  • The relationship between the relative seeking visitation and the child
  • The relationship between the relative seeking visitation and the child’s parents or custodial caregiver
  • The effect visitation is likely to have on the child’s relationship with parents or the custodial caregiver
  • Any time-sharing agreement between the parents
  • The good faith of the relative seeking visitation
  • Any history of abuse or neglect by the relative seeking visitation
  • Other factors related to the child’s best interests

If the grandparent or sibling seeking visitation rights had provided full-time care for the child in the past, state law defines this circumstance as solid evidence that visitation would be in the best interests of the child.

Complicating Factors When Enforcing Grandparents’ Rights

While state law allows grandparents to ask the court for visitation rights, the court does not have to grant an order for those rights. As an experienced attorney could explain, cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have established a precedent protecting parents’ rights. This suggests that court-ordered grandparent visitation often infringes on parents’ rights to make basic decisions about their child’s upbringing.

Consequently, grandparents often must prove that denying visitation would cause harm to the child. Moreover, that harm must be specific, and not just the lost opportunities to develop relationships and memories. As an example, if a grandparents’ rights lawyer in Hackensack could demonstrate that the child and grandparent shared a significant bond and that severing this bond would cause psychological harm, the grandparents might have a greater chance of enforcing their rights and obtaining a visitation order.

Work with an Experienced Hackensack Grandparents’ Rights Attorney

While many people in Hackensack believe grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren play an important role in a children’s lives, the concept of legally enforceable visitation rights is a relatively new idea and one subject to judicial limitations. If you are seeking to enforce your rights as a grandparent, it may be a good idea to work with a legal advocate who understands the judicial restrictions that come into play, and who could establish the need to circumvent parents’ wishes if they attempt to prohibit visitation.

A knowledgeable Hackensack grandparents’ rights lawyer could work to show the court precisely why enforcement of visitation rights is in the best interests of the child and how the child would suffer harm if visitation is withheld. To learn the extent of grandparents’ rights and how to enforce those rights in your particular situation, call today.

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