In all child custody cases, whether initiated by a parent, grandparent, or sibling, the courts will base any child custody determinations on the best interest of the child standard. Relationships that support the well-being of a child and that encourage the child to develop to his or her best potential are actively encouraged. Especially in cases of divorce and separation, preserving family relationships is an overall social goal in New Jersey’s child custody and visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Generally
In child custody cases, courts determine which parent is to have physical custody of a child. Physical custody means the child’s primary residence following the parents’ divorce or separation. The other parent sometimes has non-physical custody of the child but is awarded visitation rights, which enables him or her to spend time with the child.
Basics of Grandparent Visitation Rights
Grandparents are permitted to spend time with their grandchildren if they petition the court for the right to spend more time with them and the state law of the child’s residence allows grandparent visitation. These grandparent visitation rights laws would allow the grandparent to visit with grandchildrenren even if the child’s parents will not permit visitation.
Grandparent Visitation Rights in New Jersey
New Jersey’s grandparents’ visitation laws allow a grandparent to petition the court for an award of visitation of the grandchild over the parents’ objections. The court carefully weighs the parents’ rights to raise their child as they see fit against the grandparents’ right to spend meaningful time with the grandchild. A child’s relationship with a grandparent is seen as a beneficial relationship in the life of the child and is encouraged by many religious groups, cultures, and child development professionals.
New Jersey courts apply the best interest of the child analysis to make a determination with respect to the grandparents’ petition for visitation. The court considers eight factors when awarding grandparent visitation. They are:
- The relationship between the child and the grandparents;
- The relationship between each of the child’s parents and the grandparents;
- The contact the child has had with the grandparents;
- The effect of grandparent visitation on the relationship between the child and the child’s parents;
- Considerations for the non-custodial visitation time with the child;
- Good faith of the grandparents in making petition to court;
- History of abuse or neglect by the grandparents of physical, emotional, or sexual nature; and
- Any other factor that may be relevant for the child and be in the child’s best interest to consider.
These eight factors can also be used by a sibling to establish visitation when the child’s parents refuse to allow sibling visits.
Would You Like to Know More About Grandparent Visitation Rights in New Jersey?
The Giro Law Firm provides effective and innovative legal representation to New Jersey families. We provide the information that can help you make the best decisions about your New Jersey child custody law case. Request a confidential consultation today through our website or call us at (201) 690-1642.
The Giro Law Firm also represents individuals in elder law matters, such as estate planning, Medicaid planning, and special needs planning, probate, trust administration, asset protection, and veteran’s aid planning