We’re her Grandparents. Why can’t we Visit?
Our son Fred was married to Wilma six years ago. Our granddaughter, Pebbles, is five. Pebbles has spent time with us two or three times each month since she was born. She attended all family birthday parties, backyard picnics and church services with us every Sunday. Wilma is divorcing our son and she blames us for their breakup. Wilma says our son is “too attached” to his parents, and she says that we are prohibited from visiting with Pebbles. Can she do that?
While New Jersey courts usually hold that spending time with grandparents is inherently good for the child, the court must balance this belief with a parent’s right to raise her child as she sees fit. You, as grandparents, can file an independent petition for visitation privileges with Pebbles. You have the burden of proving to the court that visiting with Pebble’s is in her best interest. Among the factors that he court considers to determine best interest are:
A) Your relationship with Peebles;
B) How long its been since you last had contact with Peebles;
C) The effect that visitation will have on Peebles’ relationship with Wilma;
D) The time sharing arrangement which exists between Wilma and Fred with regard to the child;
E) Whether the grandparents are asking for visitation because they really want to spend time with the child, or just want to annoy the child’s mother;
F) Whether there is a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect by the grandparents; and,
G) Any other factor that the court thinks is important in your situation.