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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Seeing grandparents after divorce in best interests of the child?

Family takes many different shapes and forms in the country today. Possibly the toughest question to answer when a family experiences a change in dynamics is whether something is in the best interests of the child. Many families in Georgia may be seeking ways to ensure that their children are surrounded by loving and supportive relatives and friends throughout their lives.

One state has recently forwarded on a bill to the second half of its legislative body. The subject matter of the bill is the issue of grandparent rights to request legal visitation. The state is working to assure that children and their grandparents are entitled to spend time together if certain conditions exists.

The bill has language that dictates under what circumstances the elder relatives would be granted visitation rights. If either one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, or they have separated with different dwellings being maintained or they have divorced, then the grandparents may possibly be allowed legal visits with their grandchildren, even if previously denied by a parent. One other condition contained in the bill’s language is that the grandparents must have been prevented by a parent from seeing the child or children for at least three months. A judge would most likely use discretion regarding when and how the law could be applied in each circumstance.

Georgia currently has provisions for grandparents requesting visitation; however, the statues for seeking those rights are not clearly defined in the current law. In all situations, a legal adoption outside of the child’s family would negate any rights for grandparent visits. The main objective of these laws is what decisions are in the best interests of the child. Every family who finds that they may be struggling to arrive at the best solutions for their children do have resources in the state that are available to help them arrive at the best answer for their family.

Source:, “Bill would give grandparents legal visitation of grandchildren”, Raymond Owens, April 22, 2014