When parents split up, the end of their relationship does not end their rights to involvement with their children. Regardless of whether a couple married or not, both parents can request parenting time and decision-making authority.
Shared custody arrangements are common, but sometimes one parent receives primary custody or even sole custody, which means they have the final say in everything involving the children. They may then use that legal authority to cut their ex out of the lives of the children. Sometimes, they may even try to keep extended family members away from the children.
As a grandparent whose child does not have custody, you are at the mercy of the other parent. Do you have any legal rights if they refuse to let you spend time with your grandchildren?
Georgia law does authorize grandparent visitation
Some states have passed laws that acknowledge how important people other than biological or adoptive parents can be for children. Georgia is one of those states. There is a law that allows grandparents to ask for visitation even if the parent with legal decision-making authority doesn’t want them around.
As long as you have a pre-existing relationship with the children, a judge is likely to agree that giving you at least occasional access to the children will be good for them. Even if the parent does not want to give you visitation time, the court can order visitation time for you just like they could for a parent who doesn’t have shared custody.
Your grandkids likely want to be a part of your life
Children often have very little choice in what happens during a divorce or when their parents separate permanently. Many times, it can be very emotionally traumatic for children to adjust to their changing family situation.
Having grandparents and other extended family members continue to socialize with them can be beneficial. Seeking visitation won’t just help you but can also help your grandkids. If you cannot reach an amicable solution with the parent of your grandchildren, going to court may be necessary to preserve your relationship with your grandkids.
Knowing the Georgia laws about grandparent’s rights and visitation can help you maintain access to your grandchildren.