My grandson lives with his father and stepmother. recently it has been a struggle to schedule a visit with our grandson. We had planned a camping trip for this week. I was to pick our grandson up tomorrow. Was told tonight that he can't go because they have relatives down for the week. This was know when I spoke with his father two weeks ago. At that time I was told there would not be a problem and agreed to have him home Friday evening. It is too late for us to change our reservations without an extra charge.
Grandparents have no visitation rights unless such rights have been expressly awarded in a court order. If you have a court order granting you visitation, the order should spell out what/when visitation you have.
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Please think long and hard before even contemplating, let alone initiating, litigation over visitation details. (As an Indiana rather than Georgia attorney, I offer no guesstimate about your ability to sue or, if you can, your likelihood of prevailing.) Even where grandparent visitation is denied entirely, litigation can be tragically counterproductive, ensuring that no amicable resolution or relationship can exist in the future between grandparent and parent, which in turn makes a nurturing relationship with the grandchild far more difficult; and it inevitably diverts resources that should go toward the child's education and enrichment, or even basic needs, to legal fees. Setting off this avalanche over scheduling difficulties or canceled reservations would be, to say the least, short-sighted, and not in your or your grandson's best interests.
NOTE: The only state in which I am actively licensed to practice law is Indiana. Even where questions arise in Indiana, no answer I provide on this blog should be taken as legal advice or as establishing an attorney-client relationship.
Georgia grandparents do have standing to file a case for visitation rights to grandchildren. However, just because you can, does not mean you should. Your question does not sound as if the parents are outright denying you visits. It sounds like they have not complied with your scheduling requests, and maybe were rude about changing plans on you last minute. However, that is not the same thing as denying you visitation. And you would need to show some harm to the child because of your not being able to visit. Further, since there is a stepmother involved, is there a court order in place already? Does it address any visitation rights for you as grandparents? If you are truly being denied contact or visits, it is probably worth your time to consult an attorney. After hearing more facts from you, they can tell you more accurately whether or not you should pursue any sort of legal remedy. I do agree with a previous answer that you may be opening a Pandora's box should you decide to take legal action, so you should give careful consideration, including an attorney's opinion, as to whether to go down that road.
This is not meant to establish an attorney-client relationship, and is only meant for general guidance as to Georgia law and procedure.
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