Many grandparents would agree that their relationship with their grandchild is one of the greatest joys in life. This relationship can come to an abrupt stop, however, if their child’s parents divorce and the custodial parent refuses to let the grandparents visit the child. In such situations, grandparents may want to seek visitation with their grandchild.
Grandparent’s rights in Georgia
Georgia law does recognize that a grandparent has visitation rights with their grandchild under certain circumstances. A grandparent’s visitation rights only take effect if a child’s parents are divorced or if the court finds that the child’s well-being is put at risk if the grandparents are not allowed visitation rights. Ultimately, the visitation must be in the best interests of the child.
If the any of the following factors are met, a court may rule that the child’s well-being is placed at risk if grandparent visitation is denied. These factors include:
- The child lived with the grandparent for six months or more
- The grandparent financially supported the child for at least 12 months
- The grandparent served as a caretaker for the child or regularly visited the child
- Other signs that show the child will be harmed mentally or physically if denied grandparent visitation
Still, grandparent visitation is limited to visits once every two years, and not in the same year of the parent’s divorce absent a petition to intervene. Despite these limitations, grandparent visitation is still an essential part of a child’s well-being and can help protect the special bond between a grandparent and their grandchild.