For the first 2 years of my granddaughter's life, we had her once a week every week and sometimes over night on the weekends. Now that her father has custody, he is not allowing us or her great grandparents (who had her for 3-4 /nights & days a week every week) to have her. We are allowed to go to their house and visit but not take her anywhere or have her at our house.
Grandparents do have rights in New Jersey. They must demonstrate harm will occur if not afforded time. However it depends on the facts of each case if you meet that standard. You should consult with legal counsel.
Grandparents have rights to visitation, but the rules are a little complicated.
You may have to go to Court, to show the Judge that it is good for the child to see you a lot more than what the father is allowing. And do not delay, the longer it takes for you to get to court, the more the father can say 'it has been one year...it has been two years....since she saw her grandparents 3-4 nights a week.' Get to a lawyer and get the lawyer to take action for you.
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You did not indicate how old the child is and for how long you have been denied visits. But grandparents have a difficult time in NJ.
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Without more facts about your case it's difficult to give a full assessment. But, one of the attorneys above is correct in saying that you have to prove that harm will occur to the child if she does not have visitation with her grandparents. This is a high legal standard.
I strongly disagree with the attorney above who mentions that you may have to show the Court that it would be good for the child to have more visitation with you. There are specific cases in NJ where the Courts say it is not enough to show or say that a child having a relationship with grandparents is in the child's best interest - that's not the legal standard. Like I said above, you have to prove harm will occur.
Nothing would stop you from making an application to the Court for visitation. If you do, be prepared for attorney fees and you will likely need a professional to provide an expert opinion that denying the child grandparent visitation will cause harm.
I always say why not meet with an attorney who offers free consultations? Maybe there's a way you can work it out with the father through mediation.
Best of luck to you.
In the state of New Jersey, grandparents do have custody and visitation rights, but they are largely trumped by the rights of the natural parents in dictating all aspects of the upbringing of their children. Public policy in this state weighs in favor of giving parents autonomy to make decisions on how to raise their children with as little interference as possible, except in extreme circumstances such as if a parent is unfit or places the children in danger or imminent risk of danger. In order to succeed on a custody/parenting time application, a grandparent must typically demonstrate that the child will suffer a specific harm if the grandparent visitation is prevented.
Family court custody matters can be highly complicated because of the emotional and sensitive nature of the issues involved. It is important that you discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced family law attorney to learn what your rights are and how to seek relief in the family court.
Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.
Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.
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