It is not uncommon in today’s day and age for grandparents to provide significant financial support for their grandchildren – and in some cases being the primary source of financial support. In fact according to the AARP, roughly 25 percent of grandparents spent more than $1,000 a year on their grandchildren – with 37 percent of grandparents actually helping pay for everyday living expenses.
Unfortunately, grandparents are often with left with few visitation rights if their grandkids’ parents decide to get divorced – even if the grandparents provided financial support. Grandparents can often get pulled into divorces and spend thousands of dollars just to attempt to get some visitation rights.
In fact, obtaining grandparent visitation rights has only become more difficult since 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down another state’s grandparent visitation law – leading many states to strike down or repeal their own grandparent visitation laws.
In New Jersey, courts will consider a variety of factors when determining whether grandparents should have visitation with a grandchild. While the best interests of the child is a major element New Jersey courts look to, other elements also include:
- Current relationship between the grandparent and child
- Current relationship between the grandparent and parents
- The time that has passed since the child last visited with grandparent
- The impact that grandparent visitation will have on the relationship between the parents and the child
While grandparents often get caught in the middle of messy divorces, they still have some recourse available if their access to their grandchildren is restricted.
Source: Reuters, “Grandparents, purse strings and divorce,” Temma Ehrenfeld, July 23, 2012
Our firm often handles situations in which grandparents face difficulty obtaining visitation with their grandchildren. If you would like to learn more about our family law practice, please visit our New Jersey Grandparent Issues page.