If you are a grandparent seeking to exercise your rights to visitation to see your grandchildren, you may need to talk with a Washington DC grandparents’ rights lawyer. When a child’s parents divorce, they often need the love and support of their grandparents more than ever. Securing visitation or custody rights as a grandparent can be very complicated, but could be possible if you can prove that being given these privileges would serve the best interests of your grandchildren.
A knowledgeable family attorney can offer you legal counsel based on your particular circumstances and discuss whether filing an action may be advisable.
Filing an Action for Custodial Rights as a Grandparent
Custodial rights are typically conferred upon one or both of the child’s parents. It is assumed that maintaining a close parental relationship will be in the child’s best interests, in most cases. However, there may be situations in which a child’s grandparents could petition for custodial rights.
A Washington DC attorney could help grandparents petition for custodial rights in cases where being granted custody would meet the best interests of the child or the court has determined that the parents of the child are unfit to act in their parental capacity.
If the parents’ divorce case is already underway, the grandparents would usually not be able to get involved in an ongoing custody action. There are limited exceptions to this rule. As an example, if the grandparent or grandparents have been fulfilling a parental role by feeding, housing, schooling, and sheltering the child, and the child has lived under their roof for four out of the preceding six months, the court may consider their request for custody.
Grandparents May Choose to Pursue Visitation
When the privileges and fitness of the child’s parents are not in question but the grandparents are being barred access to their grandchildren, a Washington DC attorney could advise whether they have solid grounds to file a petition for visitation rights. It is essential to understand that the law does not expressly provide grandparents the right to visitation.
The court would automatically assume that the parent’s decision to deny visitation was in the child’s best interests unless the grandparents can provide evidence to the contrary. However, a judge may decide to grant grandparents’ petition for visitation rights if they can prove that this would be in their grandchild’s best interests and that the parent is acting unconscionably in barring them from visitation.
If the parent does not wish to take charge of their child, deserted their child, or having custody is harmful to the child’s interests, these factors could also form grounds for grandparents’ petition for visitation rights.
Get More Information from a Washington DC Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
The laws governing visitation rights in Washington DC can be tricky to navigate and are often even more complicated when the rights of a grandparent are concerned. If you need help pursuing custodial or visitation rights to your grandchild, it is wise to seek out Washington DC grandparents’ rights lawyer who could provide more information regarding your eligibility and the process involved.
An attorney could provide an honest evaluation of your potential case and help you make an informed choice regarding how to proceed with the matter. Do not hesitate to contact the office today and schedule your lawyer consultation.