Grandparents Visitation Rights Divorce lawyer

The Legal Implications of Grandparents Visitation Rights in Divorce Cases

Grandparents are at risk of being left in the lurch during a divorce or custody battle in Mobile, AL. In some cases, parents use this time to bring up preexisting issues with grandparents and advocate for a limited time with them. In others, parents use a grandparent’s time with their grandchildren to hurt their co-parent. This can be extremely painful for grandparents and grandchildren, which is why the state of Alabama is open to granting grandparents rights when it comes to visitation. However, these rights are only granted in specific circumstances and when certain requirements are met.

If you believe you deserve visitation rights with your grandchild, it’s important to talk about your options with a family law attorney before going any further. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation with our team right away.


When Are Grandparents’ Rights an Option in Alabama?

Grandparents are able to seek visitation rights in certain circumstances in Alabama. To file for visitation, a grandparent must prove that one of these conditions exist:


  • One or both parents have passed away
  • The parents are divorced
  • One parent has abandoned the child
  • The child was born out of wedlock
  • One parent is prohibiting a relationship between the child and grandparent


Note that one of these conditions existing does not mean you will automatically get visitation rights. Not only must one of these conditions exist, the court must also find that visitation is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider a variety of factors in their decision, including the grandparent’s willingness to support the relationship between the child and parent, the grandparent’s physical and mental health, the child’s physical and mental health, the child’s preferences, any history of domestic violence, and parental input.


This means that outcomes may vary widely from case to case. Consider, for example, a case involving a divorced couple and their young child. Parent A has largely dropped out of the child’s life, retaining legal custody rights but not spending time with the child. Parent A’s parent vies for visitation rights but consistently spends their time with the child talking badly about Parent B. The court will view this very differently than a case where the grandparent in question supports the child’s relationship with both parents and only speaks positively of them.


How a Case May Affect Your Divorce

During a divorce or custody battle, grandparents seeking visitation rights may intervene in current legal actions to establish visitation. Divorce is already time-consuming, stressful, and mentally draining. When grandparents get into the fray, expect a divorce to become even more stressful for everyone involved.


If you are one of the parents in a grandparents’ rights case, it is critical to talk to a family law attorney about your options. Don’t assume that the court won’t consider the grandparent’s request or that they have no right to your child. Make sure you know your options and potential outcomes.


The Limitations of Grandparents’ Rights Cases

There are significant limits in place when it comes to grandparents’ rights cases. This protects the rights of parents and prevents grandparents from abusing the court system to establish visitation. Current laws prohibit grandparents from seeking visitation more often than every 24 months. On the flip side of that, once visitation rights are established, parents cannot seek to terminate them more often than every 24 months.


The situation is also more complicated if one parent has lost or given up legal custody of the child. In this case, the parents of the parent who lost legal custody cannot seek visitation unless they already have an established relationship and are able to prove that visitation serves the child’s best interests.


Like many other family law issues, this is a situation where compromise and negotiation may be the best option. If there are no safety issues, negotiating in good faith may yield a result that’s best for the child at the heart of the issue.


Protect Your Rights with the Team at Kirk Drennan Law

Whether you’re a parent or grandparents involved in a grandparents’ rights case, you must protect your best interests throughout this process. Let us help. Call our team of Mobile, AL family law and divorce lawyers at 205-953-1424 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.


The Legal Implications of Grandparents Visitation Rights in Divorce Cases

In Mobile, AL, grandparents may face uphill battles for visitation rights during divorces or custody disputes. Learn about the legal nuances and options available in grandparents visitation rights cases. Contact Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 for expert guidance today.

Service Type: Divorce Attorney

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