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When can grandparents seek visitation with their grandchildren?

| Apr 7, 2021 | Family Law

Divorce is hard on immediate families. When two Alabama parents end their relationship, the effects can hit them and their children in different ways. However, the extent of a divorce can reach beyond the walls of the family’s former home. They can reach the extended families of the parties as well.

Grandparents are often found in difficult positions with regard to divorce and other family law matters impacting their kids and grandkids. When parents cannot get along, their conflicts may mean alienation between their kids and other family members. This post will explore Alabama’s laws on when grandparents can seek visitation time with their children.

The best interests of the children

Grandparent visitation will not be ordered by an Alabama court if it does not serve the best interests of the children who will be visiting with their extended family members. As with child custody matters, the best interests of the children related to grandparent visitation will consider the subjective needs of the children. Only when grandparent visitation extends those interests will it be ordered.

Other grandparent visitation requirements

If it is found that the best interests of the children will be advanced through grandparent visitation, a second requirement must be met for it to be ordered by the court. The situation of the child’s family must meet one of several conditions before grandparents can be given rights to see their grandkids. Those conditions include:

  • The death of one or both of the children’s parents;
  • The divorce of the children’s parents;
  • The abandonment of the child by a parent;
  • The birth of the child out of wedlock; or
  • The actions of a parent to prevent the grandparent from getting to see the child or children.

Grandparents and grandchildren can have fruitful, meaningful relationships. They can be fostered by families, but when they are not, grandparents can pursue their rights to see the children they love. Family law attorneys can help them understand the laws and their options to establish visitation rights.