Like other states, Alabama has a provision in its laws that allows grandparents in the Mobile area to get court-ordered visitation of their grandchildren under certain circumstances.
Specifically, grandparents of parents who are divorced or legally separated may request an order for visitation. Likewise, grandparents of children born out of wedlock may request this type of order; however, for paternal grandparents, the father must have legally established his parental rights through a paternity order. Finally, when one parent has died, grandparents may request visitation.
Moreover, because the state places a high priority on allowing parents to make decisions for their children, grandparents do have to prove that they both have a strong relationship with their grandchildren and that will actually hurt the child in some significant way. They must prove this by what the law call clear and convincing evidence.
Incidentally, the grandparents will also have to demonstrate that if they receive court-ordered visits, they will be cooperative with the child’s parent by respecting the terms of the order consistently.
For this and other reasons, grandparents who feel they may need a court order to have visits with their grandchildren should strongly consider speaking to an experienced Alabama family law attorney. For one, litigating a grandparent visitation case is both legally complicated and challenging in many respects.
Grandparents who want to have visits with their grandchildren will have to gather evidence and make a convincing legal argument to a judge.
On the flip side, sometimes what seem like issues with visitation are in fact the result of misunderstandings or miscommunications. In these cases, mediation or other alternatives may be available.