New Jersey Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
Grandparents in New Jersey who have been denied the opportunity to visit with their grandchildren often wonder whether they have any legal right to contact or visit them. While New Jersey law does provide certain rights for grandparents, the application of these laws is often complicated by court rulings restricting these rights.
Consequently, the best course of action for grandparents seeking visitation is usually to talk to a New Jersey grandparents’ rights lawyer who could explain how the current laws fit their particular situation. A knowledgeable family attorney could advocate on your behalf to help obtain visitation opportunities through all available means, whether that includes individual negotiation or court intervention.
The Child’s Best Interests
Throughout New Jersey laws regarding child custody, visitation rights, and other issues, the key element repeated over and over is that courts should make decisions based on the best interests of the child. When grandparents seek to enforce their visitation rights, it is important to keep in mind that they must demonstrate that visitation serves the physical, emotional, and mental needs of the grandchildren.
An experienced grandparents’ rights in New Jersey attorney could present evidence to make the required showing. Arguing that the grandparents are suffering due to the loss of contact with their grandchildren would have no impact on the case. Alternatively, the grandparents and their dedicated attorney must show specifically how the children would suffer if visitation is not granted.
The New Jersey Grandparents Visitation Statute
New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:2-7.1 enables grandparents to seek a court order permitting visitation with their grandchildren. This statute requires the court to consider several factors in determining whether ordering visitation serves the best interests of the child, including:
- The good faith of the grandparents in applying to the court
- Any history of abuse or neglect by the grandparents
- The custodial arrangements and visitation schedule of the parents
- The amount of time since contact between the grandparents and grandchildren
- The relationship between the grandparents and the grandchildren
- The relationship between the grandparents and the children’s parents or custodian
- The effect visitation might have on the children’s relationship with their parents or custodian
- Any additional factors that affect the child’s best interests
When seeking a court order for visitation under the statute, grandparents bear the burden of establishing that a visitation order is in the child’s best interests. A may work to meet that burden with a variety of evidence. As an example, if a grandparents’ rights lawyer in New Jersey could prove that the grandparents seeking visitation served as full-time caregivers for the child. This may serve as persuasive evidence that an order of visitation serves the child’s best interests.
Court Rulings That Restrict Grandparents’ Rights
Courts have intervened to restrict the rights of grandparents who were denied visitation by the parent or parents of their grandchildren. The result of several lawsuits involving parental rights creates a somewhat confusing precedent regarding the submission of evidence in grandparents’ rights cases.
Courts have ruled that they are not entitled to interfere with parental decisions regarding the raising of their children unless the children would suffer specific harm as a result. Consequently, grandparents must demonstrate that their grandchildren would be harmed if visitation is not granted in order to obtain a court order allowing visitation against the parents’ wishes.
A knowledgeable NJ attorney could work to prove the specific psychological or physical harm likely to result from a lack of contact with the grandparents. In most cases, the grandparents must have a history of close contact with the child to make this kind of result possible.
Work with an Experienced New Jersey Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
While understanding and enforcing grandparents’ rights can be a complex matter, it may have the potential for great reward. There can be few things in life as satisfying as overseeing the restoration of family relationships that will further a child’s development and strengthen hopes for the future.
If you were denied visitation, a New Jersey grandparents’ rights lawyer could work to help you obtain time with your grandchildren. Call today to schedule a case evaluation.