Bergen County Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys
Helping Maintain Familial Relationships After a Divorce
As a grandparent, you understand how powerful the bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be. If that bond is threatened, and grandparents are unable to obtain visitation time with their grandchildren, these grandparents may have a right under New Jersey law to petition for visitation time.
If you’re a grandparent in New Jersey and want compassionate and effective legal help in pursuing visitation with your grandchild, contact our grandparents’ rights attorneys in Bergen County for a consultation. Herbert & Weiss, LLP is here to help.
When Does a Grandparent Have a Right to Visitation?
New Jersey law provides a right for grandparents to seek visitation time with their grandchildren, and courts will grant this time should they determine that visitation is in the child’s best interests. The child’s parents do not need to be divorced or separated for grandparents to be granted a right to seek visitation, but the parents’ marital status may affect a court’s determination of whether to grant visitation. New Jersey courts will often defer to a parent’s authority on whether a grandparent is entitled to visitation, making it crucial that the grandparent work with a family law attorney who is experienced in helping grandparents obtain visitation time, such as those at the Englewood offices of Herbert & Weiss, LLP.
New Jersey’s law on grandparent visitation, codified at N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1, outlines the eight factors that courts will examine when considering whether to grant visitation time to a grandparent:
- The grandparent and grandchild’s relationship: If a grandparent and grandchild have an established close and loving relationship, the court will see this as a factor in favor of granting visitation time. Grandparents who cannot show that they have long been a part of their grandchild’s life, and have not attempted to change that fact, will be less likely to convince a court that the parents should be compelled to provide visitation time now.
- The relationship between the grandparent and parents or guardians of the child: The court may decide that it would not be in the child’s best interests to award visitation time if doing so would expose the child to serious conflict between the grandparent and parent.
- The elapsed time since the grandparent last had contact with the child: If years have passed since the grandparent last contacted the child, the court may find that awarding visitation time would be too disruptive for the child.
- The effect of visitation on the child’s relationship with their parents or guardians: If the relationship between the child’s grandparents and their parents (either the child or in-law of the grandparent) is riddled with conflict, ordering visitation between the grandchild and child could have negative consequences for the child.
- The effects of grandparent visitation on a parent’s visitation time with their child, if the parents are divorced: Parenting time will be given priority over grandparenting time. Courts are unlikely to order visitation time with a grandparent if that visitation would cut into a parent’s time with their child to an unreasonable degree.
- The grandparent’s good faith in filling out the application for visitation time: Courts will look for signs that an application for visitation time was made merely to inconvenience or prolong conflict with the parent, rather than out of a genuine desire to sustain the relationship between grandparent and grandchild.
- Any history of abuse or neglect by the grandparent, and
- Other relevant factors.
Preparing an application for visitation rights takes careful investigation to compile convincing evidence of a grandparent’s sincere and loving interest in a relationship with their grandchild. Don’t miss out on being a part of your grandchild’s life while you can. Get the help you can trust in applying for visitation with your grandchild by contacting the custody and visitation lawyers at Herbert & Weiss, LLP for a consultation on your case.
For seasoned, dedicated, and professional help with grandparent visitation applications throughout New Jersey, contact the Bergen County grandparents’ rights attorneys at Herbert & Weiss, LLP for a consultation at (201) 500-2151.
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