Throughout the history of the United States, family interaction shave been of considerable importance. Though this is the case, many states have adopted grandparent visitation laws whereas a parent has the right to determine whom to have around their children, including grandparents. This means that a parent has the right to prohibit visitations between grandparents and grandchildren.
Alabama was one of these states; however, under new law—which is being challenged—grandparents have rights to see their grandchildren. Because your children and family can be affected because of this law, if you or a loved one is seeking information in this area, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney so that we can strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.
Challenging the Grandparent Visitation Act
Alabama appeals court struck down a law that would grant rights to grandparents to visit their grandchildren. The law in question, allows grandparents to seek visitation rights to see their grandchildren whether the parents approve of the visitation or not.
The Grandparents Visitation Law allows for grandparents who wish to file a petition against their grandchildren’s parents to do so, so long as there is clear and convincing evidence that the children would not be harmed by the grandparent’s visitation. Under this law, grandparents would have to show a significant and viable relationship with the grandchildren that they are wishing to visit. This relationship can be established through several ways: the grandchildren must have lived with the grandparents for at least six consecutive months, whether the parent were present or not; the grandparents must have been the caregiver to the child for at least six consecutive months; or the grandparents had regular and frequent contact with the grandchildren for at least 12 consecutive months, with a statute of limitations of three years of filing the petition.
However, this law is now being challenged by parents because the parents in this case believe they should have a right to determine who their children should be able to visit with. This law has come under scrutiny on both sides of the law because grandparents believe that their grandchildren are harmed by not having a relationship with the grandparents. Though the law is now being challenged, it can very well affect you and your children or grandchildren. Because of this, it is invaluable to seek legal representation and advice if you find yourself in this situation.
Birmingham Custody Attorneys
We all want what is best for our children and many people want to make that decision without lawmakers and judges; however, this is not always the case. Because of the importance of family dynamics and maintaining familial notions, it is best to seek legal representation and advice if you find yourself or your loved ones affected by this law. If you or a loved one is seeking child custody, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today!