While custody and visitation privileges are most commonly granted to one or both of a child’s parents, there may be circumstances in which the child’s grandparents have legal grounds to pursue custody and visitation rights. A Frederick grandparents’ rights lawyer can help you seek visitation or custody rights over your grandchild. A child custody attorney could assess your circumstances and advise you on whether you may have legal cause to seek visitation or parenting time with your grandkids.

When Can Grandparents Pursue Custody?

There are limited circumstances in which grandparents may be granted custody of their grandchildren. Grandparents may be able to obtain custodial rights if they can show that the child’s parents lack the capacity or competency to properly care for the their needs. For example, if the child’s custodial parent has committed abuse against them, suffers from mental incapacitation that renders them unfit to care for the child, or has deserted the child, the grandparents may be able to pursue a successful claim.

In other words, if the parents are found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unfit in a way that necessitates the revocation of their parental rights, the court may decide to grant custody to the grandparents. However, it is important to understand that custody is generally granted to grandparents only in limited and exceptional circumstances. For this reason, it is best to speak with a Frederick grandparents’ rights attorney who can provide insight about whether a specific situation may justify a custody petition.

When a judge is considering a grandparent’s petition for custodial rights, they will assess several factors to determine whether to award custody. For instance, if a grandparent can prove that they have acted as the child’s de facto parents, the court may consider their petition for custody and allow them to proceed with their case and in some circumstances even award them custody in the best interest of the minor children to promote consistency and stability.

If grandparents have performed extensive parental duties, have a close connection with the child which has developed over a considerable length of time, the child has resided with them, and the child’s parents agreed to this relationship, the grandparents may be considered to be de facto parents by a court of law. The court would also look at whether either of the child’s parents are pursuing their custodial rights and how old the child was when the grandparents assumed care and custody when determining if they should be granted custody.

Visitation for Grandparents

There may be situations in which grandparents wish to spend more time with their grandchildren rather than pursue full custodial rights. If a child’s parents are reluctant to allow the grandparents visitation, it can be challenging to spend time with them. There is no statutory right granted to grandparents in the State of Maryland. Therefore, if a parent decides to withhold access between a grandparent and a grandchild, there are only limited circumstances in which the grandparent would have the right to come to court to request access. A Frederick lawyer would need to prove that allowing visitation between a child and their grandparent is in their best interests.

Discuss Your Claim with a Frederick Grandparents’ Rights Attorney

The laws governing grandparents’ rights in custody and visitation cases are very stringent and complex. If you are interested in securing custody or visitation privileges as a grandparent, it is prudent to get advice from an attorney.

A Frederick grandparents’ rights lawyer can provide an honest evaluation of your potential claim and advise you of whether you have valid legal grounds to pursue custody or visitation. Call now to schedule your case evaluation with a Frederick lawyer.