Do grandparents have visitation rights?
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

Do grandparents have visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Family Law

If a child in Virginia has abusive or neglectful parents, it might be better for their grandparents to take over. Many grandparents are willing to raise their grandchildren in a safe, loving environment. Unfortunately, grandparents who want custody of their grandchildren can find many roadblocks in the way.

What rights do grandparents have?

In some states, grandparents can request custody under certain conditions. In the state of Virginia, grandparents have only one right under the law: the right to visitation. If the child’s parents won’t let them see their grandparents, the grandparents might be able to take the issue to court. However, they’ll have to prove that the parents are actually harming the child for the court to give them visitation rights.

Virginia law doesn’t clearly define “harm,” so it’s sometimes difficult for grandparents to argue this point. Unless they have evidence of physical abuse, it’s hard to convince a judge that their grandchild is in danger simply because they don’t see their grandparents.

Still, grandparents can fight for visitation rights with the help of a family law attorney. They might even be able to adopt their grandchild if the parents give up their parental rights.

How can grandparents fight for their rights?

In most states, grandparents simply don’t have the same rights as parents. Most judges are reluctant to take children away from their parents and give custody to the grandparents unless they see no other option. Even securing visitation rights is sometimes difficult for grandparents.

If you’re a grandparent seeking custody or visitation rights, it’s important to hire an attorney. An attorney may be able to give you the best shot at having a successful outcome. You might then play a bigger role in your grandchild’s life and ensure that they grow up in a safe, loving environment.