Grandparents’ Rights in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

As you know, divorce is complicated for every party involved. Divorce has an emotional impact on both spouses and their children, however, one party seldom thought of as affected by divorce are grandparents. However, in many cases, grandparents have extremely close bonds with their grandchildren, and the thought of being unable to spend time with them and watch them grow up can be heartwrenching. That being said, New Jersey courts believe that grandparents are an important part of children’s development, which is why grandparents also have rights when parents get divorced. If you are a grandparent and you are currently unable to see your grandchild after a divorce, you should continue reading and speak with our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about how we can assist you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are grandparents’ rights in New Jersey?

If you are a grandparent who is seeking visitation rights in New Jersey, you will first have to file a formal motion with the court. Our firm can help you do this. That being said, once you file a motion, obtaining visitation rights is not a given. In fact, New Jersey courts will consider a wide array of factors before granting you visitation rights, including the following:

  • The relationship you have with the child’s parents
  • Whether there is any history of abuse or neglect between the grandparent and the child
  • How long it’s been since you last spoke with your grandchild and why
  • The relationship/bond you have with your grandchild
  • The effect you obtaining visitation rights will have on the relationship between your grandchild and his or her parents
  • The current custody/visitation arrangement between the parents and the child
  • Whether you are truly applying for visitation rights because you want to be a part of your grandchild’s life, and that there are no ulterior motives. 
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant to the child’s best interests

Can a grandparent obtain child custody in New Jersey?

In certain cases, when both parents are unable to raise a child, courts in New Jersey will have to determine who will take care of and raise the child. If you would like to take on the responsibility of raising your grandchild, under certain situations, you may request to become the child’s legal guardian. Again, this can only happen under certain rare circumstances, such as the following:

  • Incapacitation
  • Both parents passed away
  • Abandonment
  • Mental health issues/medical conditions
  • Incarceration
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Substance abuse

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.