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What are my Visitation Rights as a Georgia Grandparent?

According to GeorgiaLegalAid.org grandparents can ask the Superior Court for visitation rights by filing a Petition for Visitation. There are two ways to do this:

1. File an Original Action for Visitation: A grandparent can file an Original Action. In order to do this:

  • There can’t be any other cases before the court that involve custody or visitation for the child
  • The parents of the child must be separated or divorced
  • The grandparents can’t file this type of action more than once every two years
  • The grandparents can’t file this type of action in any year that another custody action has been filed for the child.

2. Join an Existing Case: In order to become involved in an existing custody, divorce, adoption, or termination of parental rights case, a grandparent must show the court two things:

  • That visitation on part of the grandparent is in the child’s best interests
  • That the child’s welfare or health would be harmed if the grandparent could not visit the child.

Proving these two things is difficult, and the courts rarely uphold the grandparent’s visitation rights.  Adoption is sometimes an option; however grandparents can adopt a child only if there are no legal parents alive at the time of adoption or under other very specific situations.

 

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