Grandparent Visitation Rights in New Jersey
When a grandparent plays an integral role in a child’s life, that relationship is often an important source of love, support, and stability, particularly if the child’s parents are divorced. When a couple divorces, and the child no longer lives with both biological parents, many times the grandparents step in to take care of the child. In the state of New Jersey, grandparents can take legal action by applying for visitation rights, which is time spent between a child, and, in this case, a grandparent. Securing visitation rights or third party visitation, especially for grandparents, is no easy task, and it is best done with the counsel of an experienced child custody lawyer.
In New Jersey, grandparents can request visitation rights even if one of the custodial parents opposes visitation. N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1 or the Grandparent Visitation Statute lists the factors to be considered when allowing grandparents visitation rights. Before the Court even considers the factors listed in the statute, the grandparent must show that denying them visitation rights would harm the child. Once that is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the Court will move forward with the case and consider the following factors:
- The relationship between the child and the applicant;
- The relationship between each of the child’s parents or the person with whom the child is residing and the applicant;
- The time which has elapsed since the child last had contact with the applicant;
- The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the child and child’s parents or the person with whom the child is residing;
- If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing arrangement which exists between the parents with regard to the child;
- The good faith of the applicant in filing the application;
- Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect by the applicant; and
- Any other factor relevant to the best interests of the child.
Keeping Emotions in Check for the Sake of the Child
Few things are more emotionally charged than child custody disputes in an acrimonious divorce. Such disputes can become even worse when grandparents are involved. If the situation becomes too difficult, and both parties are unable to remain civil, the details of the visitation can be handled by an experienced visitation rights lawyer. Mediation is often helpful in these situations because there is a neutral third party there to help create a legal agreement that satisfies both parties, and that focuses on the best interests of the child.
Should parties become hostile to one another, it could have a negative, far-reaching impact for them and their children. At Lyons & Associates, we help families through difficult times and take steps to ensure that a favorable outcome is reached for all.
New Jersey Family Law and Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Grandparents Obtain Visitation
Too often grandparents suffer in divorces or separations. If you would like to apply for third party visitation rights for your grandchild, our New Jersey grandparents’ rights lawyers at Lyons & Associates are here to help. Our legal team understands how difficult it can be when a child is caught in the middle of a custody agreement, and we will help you determine the best course of action that protects your rights while focusing on the needs of the child. To set up a confidential consultation where we can discuss the details of your case, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online.
Lyons & Associates serves clients throughout New Jersey including Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Bridgewater, Chatham, Madison, Mendham, Morris Plains, Morristown, Parsippany, Randolph, Rockaway, Short Hills, South Plainfield, and Woodbridge including Morris County, Somerset County and Union County.