Family relationships have always been fraught with countless complications, and they have become more tenuous than ever before in recent years.
Grandparents may find themselves in a very uncomfortable position where they cannot see their grandchildren because their children have chosen not to talk to them. Thankfully, New Jersey recognizes that the alienation of extended family members can be damaging for children’s emotional and social development. Grandparents potentially have some custody rights in certain situations.
New Jersey allows some grandparents to ask for visitation
In a scenario where parents have divorced or separated and grandparents do not have access to their grandchildren, they can potentially go to the New Jersey family courts and ask a judge to grant them visitation. In fact, this may be possible any time a parent refuses to let a grandparent continue a relationship with their grandchildren.
Provided that they have a pre-existing, positive relationship with the grandchild, grandparents have a chance to convince a family law judge that maintaining the relationship would be in the long-term best interests of the children. Those best interests are what determined all visitation and custody requests in New Jersey, so grandparents asking for access will typically want to frame their requests accordingly.
Grandparents may be eligible to adopt as well
In scenarios where parents lose their custody rights due to state action, extreme health issues or incarceration, grandparents can potentially step up and move into a parental role. When it comes to adoption and foster placement, grandparents and other immediate family members may receive preferential consideration from New Jersey when the state attempts to place the children somewhere stable and safe.
Grandparents in a variety of different family circumstances may recognize that they are in a position to spend more time with their grandchildren or help them through a difficult situation. Learning about and asserting grandparents’ visitation and custody rights in New Jersey with the assistance of a legal professional can benefit both the adults in the family and those children who have likely been through a difficult time.