Does New Jersey Have Grandparent Rights?

grandparent rights new jersey

For divorcing spouses, creating a child custody agreement is a complex process. If the court grants one parent sole custody, it leaves the other only with visitation rights. This could prove challenging for everyone involved in these proceedings. But for grandparents who have strong bonds with their grandchildren, this can be especially difficult. It can become difficult for the grandparent to see their grandchild if that grandparent’s own child loses custody. However, a grandparent does have rights in New Jersey. For more information on those rights, please keep reading, then contact one of our experienced grandparent visitation and child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ today. Here are some questions you may have about grandparent rights in New Jersey:

When can a grandparent see their grandchild if their own child loses custody?

For a grandparent to attain visitation rights with their grandchild, they must file a formal motion with the court. When making a decision regarding their visitation rights, the court will consider the following facts:

  • The time period since the grandparent has last spoken with or seen their grandchild and why
  • Whether the court believes the grandparent is applying in good faith
  • The grandparent’s relationship with the child’s parents
  • Whether the grandparent has a documented and substantiated history of abuse toward their grandchild
  • If the grandparent’s visitation would impact the relationship between the grandchild and their parents
  • The relationship between the grandparent and their grandchild
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant

Can a grandparent become their grandchild’s legal guardian in New Jersey?

In some instances, a New Jersey grandparent can seek custody over their grandchild. A grandparent may seek guardianship or other types of custody if the child’s parents pass away or authorities have removed that child from their parent’s custody. New Jersey courts may grant a grandparent custody over their grandchild for additional reasons, including:

  • Abandonment
  • Incarceration
  • Incapacitation
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Economic or financial limitations
  • Mental health issues

Do grandparents have any rights to their grandchildren if someone else adopts them?

An adoption by anyone other than a stepparent transfers all legal rights from a child’s biological parents and relatives to the adoptive parents and family. However, the court will consider awarding visitation to a biological grandparent after a child’s adoption if the court determines that the proposed time serves the child’s best interests in light of his or her health, safety and general welfare.

If you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case, speak with one of our skilled child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ immediately.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

To speak with our team of family law lawyers today, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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