When Should I Establish a Grandparent Visitation Schedule During a Divorce?


February 3, 2021

A divorce can be a challenge for an entire family. One reason for this is because it can impact how often a child sees their parents or extended family members, like their grandparents. When there is no visitation schedule planned, it may affect the grandparent-grandchild relationship. This can ultimately be harmful for the child’s well-being and can lead to further conflict from the grandparents. To avoid this conflict, spouses should discuss grandparent visitation before finalizing a divorce. This can make all family members feel included, no matter the outcome of the divorce or separation.

Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

Each state has laws regarding grandparents’ rights. In New Jersey, grandparents have the right to request visitation with their grandchild before, during, or after the parents’ divorce or separation. However, they have to prove that the child will suffer if the visitation request is denied. This means that grandparents have a burden of proof. However, many states grant visitation depending on three factors:

  • If the visitation will preserve an existing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild. The courts may not be as likely to grant visitation if the child does not already have an existing relationship with their grandparents.
  • If a grandparent visiting the grandchild is deemed safe. The courts will likely not grant any visitation rights if the grandparents or their environment is not safe for a child to visit.
  • How the visitation will affect the child’s mental and emotional well-being. If the grandparents can help support their grandchild, this will likely influence the decision to grant visitation rights or not. Grandparents are less likely to receive visitation rights if their visit will only harm a child’s emotional or mental health.

Why Should I Agree to a Grandparent Visitation Schedule Before a Divorce?

Agreeing to a grandparent visitation schedule ensures that all parties have equal access to the child after a divorce. Oftentimes, parents create a parenting plan that does not include the child’s grandparents. If this time is not already planned, it can lead to prolonged periods of time without visitation, which can ultimately impact the grandparent-grandchild relationship. If the time is already factored into the schedule, neither parent will feel like they are giving up their own time with their child by letting them see their grandparents. This is helpful for the grandparents as well as the child. For help constructing a grandparent visitation schedule, parents should speak to a lawyer.

Moorestown Divorce Lawyers at Stockton Family Law Help Grandparents Get Visitation with Their Grandchildren

If you are interested in gaining visitation rights of your grandchild, you need to contact a Moorestown divorce lawyer at Stockton Family Law. Our lawyers understand how important the relationship is between a grandparent and their grandchild. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-412-5052. Located in Moorestown, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mount Laurel, Burlington County, and Camden County.

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