New Jersey Grandparents Rights Attorney
Parents have a constitutional right to raise their children without interference. At the same time, however, the state has a duty to protect the best interests of the child, which may be to allow grandparent visitation, even over the objections of the parents. When issues of grandparents’ rights arise, either in conjunction with a divorce or at some other time, New Jersey family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro helps craft a feasible solution that protects your rights and promotes your interests.
Grandparents’ Rights in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law 9:2-7.1, if a parent denies the grandparents the right to visit with their grandchildren, the grandparents can apply for an order to compel visitation. While in general parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, if the grandparents can show that serious physical or psychological harm would come to the child if visitation were denied, then the duty of the state to protect children may trump the rights of the parents in this instance.
In an order to compel visitation, the grandparents bear the burden of proving that visitation is in the best interests of the child. It is usually sufficient if the grandparents can show that they were previously the child’s full-time caretaker, unless the parents provide other evidence to show that visitation should not be allowed.
The court considers many different factors in deciding whether to order visitation, including:
- The relationship between grandparent and grandchild
- The relationship between the grandparent and the parents of the grandchild
- How much time has passed since the grandparent and grandchild last had contact
- The effect of visitation on the relationship between the child and his or her parents
- The time sharing arrangement between the parents for the child, if the parents are divorced or separated
- Whether the grandparent’s application was filed in good faith
- Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect by the grandparent
- Any other factors which may be relevant to the best interests of the child
Grandparents’ rights issues often arise post-divorce, when the custodial parent denies visitation with the ex-spouse’s parents. These situations present emotional issues that are difficult to resolve, but it is important to remember that the best interests of the child should always be paramount in everyone’s mind. At the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro, we have extensive experience in cases involving grandparents’ visitation rights. We conduct an active practice on behalf of grandparents who want to spend more time with their grandchildren, and we also represent parents who wish to restrict or limit the access that grandparents have with their children.
Get Help with Your Union, New Jersey Grandparents’ Rights Issue
If you are a parent or grandparent in Union, Elizabeth, Newark or surrounding areas with a visitation issue that needs to be resolved, contact the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro for assistance.