There are few things more precious in life than spending time with your grandchildren. Unfortunately, life can be complicated, and there may be factors preventing you from seeing your grandchildren. Depending on the situation, you might want to explore your options for grandparent visitation or even custody.
You might not be familiar with the concept of grandparents’ rights. If your adult child is going through a divorce or already living life as a single parent, then you already know that much of the focus tends to be on the parent-child relationship. While this is indeed very important, maintaining meaningful relationships with grandparents is also very beneficial to children.
Can I get visitation with my grandchild?
It is possible to secure visitation with your grandchild in the state of Alabama. However, a judge will not be likely to grant you visitation just because you asked. Instead, you will need to demonstrate that visitation with you will be in your grandchild’s best interests. To decide what those best interests are, a judge will consider a number of different factors, including your grandchild’s:
- Physical and emotional health
- Wishes, depending on his or her age
- Adjustment to home and school
A judge will also consider your ability to meet your grandchild’s needs during visitation. The length and stability of your relationship will also be another factor, as visitation might be more likely if you have a particularly strong relationship with your grandchild. The distance between where you and your grandchild live is another important factor to keep in mind.
Do I have to go through the court?
Not necessarily. Just like parents can use a mediator to create their own child custody agreements during divorce, you and your grandchild’s parent can do the same. While it might seem unlikely for a parent who is refusing access to your grandchild to agree to mediation, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that he or she wants to avoid court just as much as you do.
However, you might also be in a situation where you feel as if you have no choice but to go through the courts. For example, if your grandchild’s parent is being abusive, mediation over a visitation schedule might not be the most appropriate choice. Instead, you may be more interested in approaching the court for custody of your grandchild.
Grandparents are important
Your role in your grandchild’s life is unique and special. You can also provide a sense of emotional stability if he or she is dealing with difficult life experiences, like watching parents get divorced. Sadly, some parents are not always amenable to maintaining relationships between grandchildren and grandparents.
If you are having trouble getting access to your grandchild or have been cut out of his or her life altogether, you should carefully consider your options for moving forward. One option would be to approach your grandchild’s parent with a request to mediate a visitation schedule. If this option fails or you do not feel confident in the approach, you may instead want to consider asking the court for grandparent visitation.