Grandparents often play an important role in their grandchild’s life and they can have a positive impact on the child’s growth and development. There are circumstances where a grandparent may want to seek visitation with his or her grandchild.
This may occur because the child’s parents are divorced or separated, when the child’s parent has died or when the child lives with his or her grandparent for a significant period of time.
The intent of grandparent visitation is to balance the right of parents to raise their children and make decisions for them with the idea that it is often in the child’s best interest to spend time with his or her grandparents.
Application and factors
In New Jersey, grandparents can make an application for visitation under the New Jersey Grandparents’ Visitation Statute. The applicant must prove that the visitation is in the child’s best interest. Usually, this means that the grandparents have a good relationship with the grandchild and will not use their visitation to interfere with the child’s relationship with his or her parent.
The court may consider several factors in determining whether to grant visitation. These include the relationship between the child and the applicant, the relationship between the child’s parents and the applicant, the period of time since the child last had contact with the applicant, the good faith of the person who is filing the application and any other relevant factors in the best interest of the child.
If grandparents need help to apply for visitation, an experienced attorney can provide advice and representation.