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What to Know About Grandparents’ Rights in New Jersey

Often, child custody situations affect entire families. This tends to include grandparents. If a grandparent worries that they will not be able to spend as much time with their grandchild, they may need to request a visitation order. It is important to remember that you do have rights as a grandparent. In order to obtain visitation rights, you should reach out to a dedicated family law attorney. Read on to learn more about grandparents’ rights in New Jersey.

Who Can Request a Visitation Order?

It is important to note that when it comes to requesting a visitation order, only certain family members may do so. These family members include parents, grandparents, and siblings. Other family members, including stepparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, are not able to request visitation, regardless of how close they are to the child. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to request visitation rights in New Jersey, contact our firm to discuss your case.

How do Grandparents Receive Rights?

Grandparents who want visitation rights to their grandchildren are required to follow a certain process. This starts with filing a formal motion with the court. To ensure that they are making a decision that best suits the needs of the child, the court may consider 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 extremely emotional if a child loses their parent or is removed from their custody. In these situations, grandparents can become the child’s legal guardian depending on the circumstances. In some situations, grandparents can even request custody of their grandchild from the parents. This may be in the event of:

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

If you are a grandparent struggling with a custody situation involving your grandchild, contact our firm today. We are here to advocate for you and walk you through the process each step of the way. Reach out to speak with a dedicated family law attorney.


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