Child visitation rights after a divorce in Georgia take on many shapes. Grandparents often play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Do they have any rights under Georgia law when it comes to visitation?
According to a post on SlideShare, grandparents can submit a Petition for Visitation to the Superior Court. This can be submitted in two different ways. The first option consists of a filing for an original motion and must meet the following criteria: the parents of the child must be divorced or separated, there can be no other cases presently under consideration for the visitation rights to the child, and this type of action is only valid once every two years. In the second option, the grandparents can join a case already under consideration before the court. This type of filing must show that the visitation would be in the best interests of the child or that the child would suffer harm if the grandparent could not visit the child.
An article in Liveabout.com sheds more light on the laws that govern grandparent rights for child visitation in Georgia. The current version of the statute passed the Georgia legislature in 2012. It allows grandparents to petition on the grounds that visitation would be in the best interests of the child, a lower threshold than proving that harm to the child would occur without visitation. The harm standard requires information showing the child lived with the grandparent for at least six months, the grandparent provided financial support for at least one year or a pattern of visitation or child care already existed. A presumption of harm to the child due to lack of grandparent visitation is part of the statute.