Grandparents Rights Visitation Custody Virginia Maryland Lawyers Fairfax Prince
GRANDPARENTS & CHILD CUSTODY RIGHTS & VISITATION
Attorneys Helping Grandparents Exercise Their Rights
Frequently, the Virginia attorneys of the SRIS Law Group are contacted by grandparents who are either seeking custody of their grandchildren, seeking visitation with their grandchildren or want to know what rights they have as grandparents in regards to their grandchildren in Virginia & Maryland.
The honest answer is that it is a fact specific question in Virginia & Maryland. What we mean by this is that the law does allow for grandparents to obtain custody of their grandchild or grandchildren. The law also allows grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren. However, the application of these laws varies from state to state. Virginia & Maryland each have different set of laws and the case laws in each state is truly fact specific.
The SRIS Law Group has attorneys that assist grandparents with custody & visitation rights issues in Virginia & Maryland. Grandparents can call us at 888-437-7747
The following are two of the most commonly asked questions by grandparents seeking custody or visitation rights.
Do we as grandparents have visitation rights in Virginia & Maryland?
Yes, more often than not. Grandparents do have visitation rights in most cases. However, that visitation right is limited by the terms and conditions of the court order if the grandparent wants to take the custodial parent(s) to court. The law in Maryland & Virginia allow grandparents to join a visitation petition filed by the noncustodial parent or even file and independent petition for the purpose of obtaining a court order for visitation with their grandchildren.
The primary hurdle that a grandparent or grandparents will have to clear is proving that harm will occur to the grandchild or grandchildren in the absence of visitation by the grandparents. Maryland & Virginia all recognize the presumption that parents have a fundamental right as to the care, custody and management of their child.
Only a compelling interest would be sufficient to allow a court to dictate to a parent that the grandparent has to be able to visit with the grandchild. This is not an easy hurdle to clear because the grandparent has to prove that harm will result to the child’s health and welfare should the court not order the parents to allow visitation with the grandparent. The attorneys of the SRIS Law Group always caution grandparents that this is not an easy hurdle to clear, even though our attorneys have helped grandparents obtain visitation rights to visit with their grandchildren.
The other question that the SRIS Law Group child custody lawyers deal with is can grandparents be awarded custody of their grandchildren in Virginia or Maryland
The presumption in Maryland & Virginia is that as long as either parent is alive, the presumption favors the biological parent in terms of custody. In the event, that both parents have passed away, then certainly it is the courts’ preference that the child live with a blood relative. The issue that arises in this situation is who is the best blood relative to take custody of the orphaned children? Courts will consider the age, health, and financial ability of the grandparent(s), if they petition for custody, to support and care for a child
Grandparents should not lose hope when they are contemplating filing for custody of their grandchildren or filing for visitation rights. However, it is critical that grandparents who are seeking to exercise their rights ensure that the attorney is familiar with the case laws in Virginia & Maryland, pertaining to custody and visitation rights of grandparents as it pertains to grandchildren.