Family Law Attorney in South Alabama
Under current Alabama law, grandparents do not automatically have visitation rights to their grandchildren. However, Alabama’s legislature has enacted special laws that can grant visitation to grandparents through the judicial process. For over five years, Brennan R. Clifton, Attorney at Law, has represented grandparents seeking custody and visitation in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding counties.
Do I have to go to Court to establish Grandparent Visitation in Alabama?
Yes. The first step in requesting grandparent visitation is to file a petition in the appropriate circuit court division. Normally, a petition to establish grandparent visitation will be filed in the circuit or juvenile court in the county in which the child resides. When you meet with your lawyer, you and he will discuss the specific facts relating to your individual case so that all of the relevant information will be included in your petition to establish grandparent visitation.
How long is the process for establishing Grandparent visitation in Alabama?
Usually a minimum of 2-3 months. However, the process might take considerably longer in some cases. Your lawyer can discuss the specifics with you about your individual case.
What requirements must be met to establish grandparent visitation?
First, one of the following situations must be present:
(1) Death, divorce or legal separation of the child’s parents.
(2) The child was born out of wedlock and the petitioner is a maternal grandparent of the child.
(3) The child was born out of wedlock, the petitioner is a paternal grandparent of the child, and paternity has been legally established.
(4) An action to terminate the parental rights of a parent or parents has been filed or the parental rights of a parent has been terminated by court order; provided, however, the right of the grandparent to seek visitation terminates if the court approves a petition for adoption by an adoptive parent, unless the visitation rights are allowed pursuant to Alabama Code Title 30 Section 26-10A-30.
What has to be proven for a judge to award me grandparent visitation rights?
First, the judge will determine whether the child’s parents consent to visitation. There is a rebuttable presumption that a fit parent’s decision to prohibit visitation to the grandparents is in the best interest of the child.
In order to rebut this presumption, the Petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence that the grandparent or grandparents have already established a significant and viable relationship with the child and (2) visitation with the grandparent or grandparents is in the best interest of the child.