Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma, P.C.
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  • 908-454-3200Phillipsburg, NJ
  • 610-807-0440Bethlehem, PA
  • 908-475-2500Belvidere, NJ

How grandparents can protect visitation rights

The old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" was not born in a vacuum. Grandparents, just like aunts, uncles and godparents, can play a vital role in a child's life. However, some grandparents may not be able to spend as much time as they like with their grandchildren.

The reasons can vary, but they often involve an emotionally charged dispute. A grandchild could be chronically "unavailable" because the parent is not receiving financial help.  Also, a parent could be petty and vindictive over a grandparent's disapproval of other life choices.

Regardless of the reasons, grandparents have a legal right to spend time with their grandchildren. However, this right is not automatically conferred like the relationship between a parent and child. Eligible grandparents must petition the court for parenting time in the same fashion unmarried fathers must do so.  While it may seem mundane and time consuming, the process is especially important if a child's parents are having difficulties that threaten the child's best interests.  

Further, a growing number of grandparents are raising their grandchildren. The most common instances involve a child who is serving time behind bars, has been deployed overseas, or has suffered a debilitating injury.

But like we alluded to earlier, obtaining parenting time (or custody) is not automatic, and chances are that a grandparent's application may be vehemently opposed. In these instances, an experienced family law attorney can review your case and advise you of your rights and options. If you have any questions, please contact our office!

The preceding is provided for informational purposes only. 

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Phillipsburg Office
305 Roseberry Street
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865

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84 East Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

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Belvidere, NJ 07823

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