In New Jersey, grandparents have the right to seek custody and visitation with a grandchild in certain circumstances. Custody and visitation can give grandparents parenting time so that they can visit a grandchild during the day, in the evening or on the weekends.
If you are a grandparent who would like to obtain child custody or visitation, you should consult an experienced Jersey City custody lawyer from Bhatt Law Group. An attorney will take the time to understand your unique situation and identify how grandparent rights can protect your relationship with your grandchild.
Call Bhatt Law Group at (201) 798-8000 today to find out how we can help you.
New Jersey’s Grandparent’s Visitation Statue
New Jersey’s Grandparent’s Visitation Statute, N.J.S.A. 9:27.1 gives grandparents who reside in the state the right to apply for visitation. If you’d like to apply for visitation, you must prove that doing so is in the best interests of your grandchild. The court will take the following eight factors into consideration when determining whether visitation is in fact in the best interests of the child:
- The child and grandparent relationship
- The parent and grandparent relationship
- The time that has elapsed since the child last saw the grandparent
- The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the child and the child’s parents
- If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing arrangements which exist between the parents with regard to the child
- The good faith of the grandparent filing the application
- Any history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect by the applicant
- Any other factors relevant to the best interests of the child
You will be responsible for proving that if your request for custody or visitation is denied, your grandchild will be harmed. Judges will look at testimony from others that show your grandchild will suffer if you visitation rights are not granted. They will also determine whether your grandchild is coping with the death of a parent or their parent(s) have a criminal history or abuse alcohol or drugs. Any significant changes to your grandchild’s home that arose during or after a separation or divorce will be accounted for as well.
The Process to Gain Custody and Visitation Rights
Once you decide that you’d like custody or visitation rights, you will be required to file a petition in the county court where your grandchild lives or in the court that is making custody and visitation orders for them. The petition will describe your current relationship with your grandchild and your proposed schedule for court-ordered visitation. In the event that you already have visitation rights or your grandchild’s parent is not allowing you to visit, you can ask the court to make changes to the order.
After you’ve filed your petition, you must notify the living parents of your grandchild. Prior to scheduling a hearing, the court will encourage you to come to an agreement with your grandchild’s parents. Since this process can become quite complex, contacting a Jersey City custody attorney who can guide you through it and make sure your rights are upheld is essential.
Contact a Jersey City Custody Lawyer at Bhatt Law Group
It’s important to understand that each grandparent visitation case is fact sensitive. Therefore, if you’d like custody or visitation rights with your grandchild, you should seek legal support immediately. A Jersey City custody lawyer from Bhatt Law Group can ensure that your case is presented to the court in the strongest manner possible.
Our firm has over 10 years of experience collaborating with families to achieve an outcome that is right for all family members. We stay up to date on the constantly evolving grandparents’ rights and can help you achieve the visitation or custody of your grandchildren you desire. Call us today at (201) 798-8000.