Grandparent’s Rights in New Hampshire
When a couple goes through a divorce many issues are resolved including child custody, support, and visitation. While visitation is typically addressed in regard to parents, there are other people who may request visitation with the children. Grandparents are allowed some visitation rights in New Hampshire. This is an area of the law that is not always clear. If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights it is best to speak to an experienced New Hampshire family law attorney. Your lawyer will review the specific information of your case and help determine how best to proceed. Grandparents may seek to get visitation with their grandchildren when this visitation is being withheld by either or both of the children’s parents.
The ability for grandparents to see their grandchildren may be taken away by the children’s parents for a number of reasons. When the parents decide that the grandparents are not allowed to see the grandchildren they may do so in a petition to the court. Specific requirements must be met in order to seek this type of order. Grandparents must have standing in order to seek legal visitation of the grandchildren. In order for grandparents to seek this order there must be an absence of the nuclear family (the parents are no longer together). The court will review various factors when making a determination as to whether the grandparents should be granted visitation rights.
Best Interest of the Child
In New Hampshire as elsewhere, court decisions regarding children are always done in their best interest. The child must never be put in harm or in any potential situation that could potentially be deemed harmful. Additionally, the court will review whether visitation with the grandparents would interfere with the relationship the child has with the parents. Other factors will be considered such as the frequency of visits with grandparents in the past and whether the child ever resided in the same home as the grandparents. For example, daily contact in the past would be a big factor in considering whether a grandchild should continue to have visits with the grandparent.
Guardian Ad Litem
The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to the children. The guardian ad litem is an advocate for the child and ensures that the rights of the child are always upheld. The guardian ad litem also makes sure that all decisions of the court are made in the best interest of the child. This is regularly done in cases regarding child support, custody, and visitation. If a child is over the age of 12 the court may also take his or her own wishes in consideration when making a decision about visitation. Each case is different and has its own set of unique circumstances. It is recommended that any grandparent seeking visitation rights contact a New Hampshire family law lawyer. All aspects of your case will be reviewed to determine the best way to proceed. Your lawyer will also be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the legal process should you decide to file a petition.
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