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Do Grandparents Have Child Visitation Rights in New Jersey?

When a couple goes through a divorce, it not only impacts them but their families as well. If the two are parents, they have to decide the future of their children within the family. This brings up concerns about the amount of time they will get with their child. In addition to this, grandparents often also worry about if they will get to see their grandchildren. Having grandparents in a child’s life can nurture a positive impact on their development while growing up. It is because of this that grandparents can have visitation rights as well in the event of a divorce. When facing these matters, it is important to retain the services of an experienced family law attorney to assist your case.

Determining Factors

When a grandparent wants to receive visitation rights with their grandchild, there is a process that must be followed. This begins with filing a formal motion with the court to request this right. Once this is done, the court will consider various different factors in order to determine if the individual should have visitation. Factors that may come into play can include the following:

  • The relationship between the parents and the grandparent
  • The effect the visitation will have on the relationship between the child and the child’s parents
  • The time-sharing arrangement between the parents and the child
  • The relationship between the child and the grandparent
  • Any history of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) or neglect by the grandparent
  • The amount of time since the child last saw their grandparent and the reasons for any lapse in contact
  • If one parent is deceased, the court may consider the time-sharing agreement that was previously established with the deceased parent 
  • The good faith of the grandparent while applying
  • Any other factor pertaining to the best interests of the child

Can a Grandparent Become a Guardian?

It is an emotional situation when a child loses a parent or is removed from their custody. When this happens, it is important to know that a grandparent can step up and become the child’s guardian. However, this is dependent upon certain circumstances. There are also other situations in which a grandparent may request custody of their grandchild from the parents. This can include:

  • Incapacitation
  • Economic limitation
  • Abandonment
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health matters
  • Incarceration
  • Medical conditions

Contact our firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.