Decades ago, child visitation statutes only applied to parents. Today, each state has laws specific to grandparents’ legal rights to maintain contact with their grandchildren. The intention of these laws is to balance parents’ rights to raise their kids the way they want and the benefits to children who spend time with their grandparents.
Grandparent visitation statutes allow grandparents to get the court’s permission to spend time with a child, either:
- When divorce, adoption, or another event separates the family, or
- When it is in the child’s best interest and a parent won’t allow contact.
New Jersey has its own set of laws that govern grandparent visitation rights. Below is a breakdown of the factors the court uses to determine what’s in the child’s best interest.
Grandparent Visitation Rights in New Jersey
Grandparents residing in New Jersey may apply for court-ordered visitation of their grandchild. When deciding whether to grant grandparent visitation rights, the court will consider these factors:
- The relationship between the child and the grandparent
- The relationship between the child’s parents or guardians and the grandparent
- The time since the child and grandparent last had contact
- The effect the visitation rights will have on the child’s relationship with the parents or guardians
- The parenting arrangement between the parents if they are divorced or separated
- The good faith of the grandparent in requesting visitation
- Any history of physical, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect by the grandparent
- Any unique factors that involve the best interests of the child
No matter the situation, the child’s best interest is always the priority.
Get the Right Help
If you’re a grandparent and you’re struggling to see your grandchild, you have a few options to explore. The team at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC welcomes you to give us a call. Our family law attorneys know the ins and outs of grandparent rights in New Jersey. We can schedule a time to discuss your situation and help you move forward in the best manner possible.