When couples are going through a divorce and agreements are being made concerning children, most decisions concern the children's relationships with the parents. However, grandparents and other non-parents can receive visitation rights as well. Georgia family members who are concerned about being able to spend time with loved ones following a divorce have resources available to them that can help explain their options.
The visitation rights of grandparents vary from state to state. The purpose of grandparent visitation rights is to allow grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren. There are two main types of visitation rights available to grandparents, and the type for which one is eligible depends on the state overseeing the case. One type is restrictive visitation, which limits grandparent visitation rights to situations in which either one parent or both parents have passed away or a couple has divorced.
The second type of grandparent visitation right is permissive visitation. This type allows grandparents or other non-parents to seek visitation rights even when both parents are alive and regardless of the parents' marital status. Obtaining this type of visitation may be difficult if it goes against the wishes of the parents. This type of visitation has also been challenged successfully in one case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A couple's marital status or the death of one or both parents does not have to keep grandparents from being able to play a role in the lives of their grandchildren. Although third-party visitation rights did not exist a few decades ago, they now allow people other than a child's parents to maintain relationships following a separation or a death. Georgia family members wondering about their visitation rights have resources available to them that can clarify the legal options they have.
Source: FindLaw, "Grandparent Visitation Rights", Nov. 18, 2014