Do grandparents have the right to visitation with the grandchildren? Georgia, like most other states, does create a statutory right for grandparents to seek visitation with grandchildren. Visitation must be sought by petitioning the court, by filing a new action with the court, or by intervening in an existing action that puts custody and visitation of the children at issue. However, grandparents are not authorized to seek visitation if the parents are still together.
In order to obtain visitation rights, grandparents must show the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the best interest of the child that the grandparents be granted visitation, and that the child will suffer physical or emotional harm if the grandparents are not granted visitation. Among the factors that the Court may consider are 1) whether the child has lived with the grandparents for at least 6 months, 2) whether the grandparents were the primary source of support for the child for at least a year, or 3) whether there was a regular pattern of visitation or the grandparents regularly provided care for the child.
In today’s society, it is not uncommon to find multiple generation residing in the same household, or to find grandparents who are serving as primary caretakers for their grandchildren. In the event that the parents divorce, grandparents need to understand the rights they have to continue seeing their grandchildren on a regular basis.