For many New Jersey residents, having a grandchild is one of life’s biggest blessings. However, in many cases, family dynamics prove complex, and certain situations may make it difficult for you to get time with your grandson or granddaughter unless you secure legal visitation rights.
Per the New Jersey Courts, New Jersey grandparents have the option of requesting legal visitation rights over their grandchildren. However, if you do so, it is up to you to demonstrate how spending time with you would be in your grandchild’s best interests.
How courts determine your grandchild’s best interests
When deciding whether visits with you are in your grandchild’s best interests, family courts review a specific set of factors. They might consider the nature and strength of the relationship that currently exists between you and your grandchild. They may also take into account how much time has passed since you last spent time with your grandchild and whether there are any allegations of neglect or abuse to consider, among other areas.
What the state tries to do through its decision
It is the job of the state’s family court system to advocate for your grandchild’s interests, and this often involves striking a careful balance between upholding the parents’ constitutional rights to raise the child without interference and giving the child everything he or she needs to succeed and thrive. Ultimately, the court must consider whether visits with you would cause harm to your grandchild, rather than whether withholding visits from you would cause harm to you, personally.
Your chances of securing visitation with your grandchild improve when you demonstrate that you have a deep and existing personal relationship with the child at the center of the matter.