It has been a difficult journey for some grandparents in Alabama who wish to keep a relationship with their grandchildren. The recent passing of a bill in Alabama Legislature has given new hope to grandparents who are restricted from seeing family.
This bill comes as a rebuttal after the Alabama Grandparents Visitation Act was struck down in 2010 by courts, stated as unconstitutional. The new law tries to make the rights of parents and children more equal by considering that restricting a relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can have a negative impact on kids.
The bill gives grandparents a path to hold onto relationships with their family but under more strict standards. First of all the bill establishes that parents are fit to make a decision in the best interest of their children and that grandparents will have to prove otherwise.
New guidelines are strict for grandparents
As grandparents get prepared to petition to see their grandchildren they need to know how to make a strong case in court. The bill states that grandparents petitioning for visitation have to prove with clear evidence that they have an existing relationship with the grandchild and that visitation is in the child's best interest. Grandparents can go to court if one or more of the following is true:
- If the child's parents are divorced or legally separated
- If one of the child's parents have passed away
- If the child was born out of wedlock and paternity has been established
Some grandparents have created strong relationships with their grandchildren. Some practically raised the children themselves. This law will best be used in those cases where a parent is attempting to restrict access to the children because they want to shut out half of the family. There are many cases where parents will know what is best for their children, which is why the strict guidelines are established. It will give a chance for courts to view the scenario from both sides and decide what is best for the children.
If you are worried about losing access to your grandchildren through a divorce or family dispute then contact an attorney experienced in family law. They can help you build a case to ensure a continued connection with your loved ones.