Grandparent Rights Attorney in Fairmont, WV
Legal Representation to Secure Visitation Rights with Your Grandchild
As a grandparent in the state of West Virginia, you have the legal right to visit and have a reasonable relationship with your grandchild, regardless of the marital status or relationship between the parents of your grandchild, as long as your involvement in the child’s life is in his or her best interest and would not interfere in a substantial way with the existing parent/child relationship. Unfortunately, after a divorce or parental separation, loving grandparents may find themselves suddenly cut off from seeing and having the same quality of relationship that they previously enjoyed with their grandchild. West Virginia laws regarding grandparent rights are complex, and the provisions allowing for visitation rights for grandparents are quite lengthy. You are strongly advised to contact Whiteman Burdette, PLLC, prior to attempting to take any legal action that may affect your visitation rights with your grandchild. We offer a free initial consultation to grandparents who are interested in pursuing a greater level of involvement in the lives of their grandchildren.
Unable to Visit Your Grandchild Following the Death of Your Child?
If your son or daughter is deceased and you are unable to gain access to visit your grandchild, you are legally obligated to provide evidence that your involvement in the child’s life is in his or her best interest. Your case must show by a preponderance of evidence that your visitation with the child is beneficial. We will meet with you to discuss the documentation and evidence required to prepare your case so that you will have the best possible chance of resuming your relationship with your grandchild.
Is Your Son or Daughter Preventing You From Visiting Your Grandchild?
In some cases, your son or daughter may present a barrier preventing you from visiting and having a meaningful relationship with your grandchild. Regardless of your child’s reason for denying your visitation, the legal barriers in this type of situation can feel overwhelming. Your burden is to prove that clear and convincing evidence exists that proves that your ability to visit with your grandchild is in the child’s best interest. Additionally, you must also present evidence that the relationship would not substantially interfere with the parent/child relationship. Our law firm has extensive experience assisting caring grandparents with gathering and presenting the evidence necessary to resume visitation with their grandchild.
How Are Grandparent Rights Cases Decided?
Each case is carefully evaluated and decided on an individual basis. Many factors are considered, including the wishes of the parent and the child, the child’s age, the relationship between you (the grandparent) and your child, how long it has been since you last visited the child, existing custody and visitation arrangements, time available (due to employment, school, home, and community activities), the good faith of the grandparent, any history of abuse on behalf of the grandparent, whether or not the child has resided with or been cared for by the grandparent for a significant amount of time, as well as many other factors relevant to the best interests of the child.
Restrictions on Grandparent Rights and Visitation
If visitation is granted, court-ordered supervision and other restrictions may be required and these conditions may be legally placed on you, including a ban on discussing or influencing the child’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, the encouragement of any activities prohibited by the parent(s), acts contrary to the parent(s) wishes, and any other actions which may go against the parents’ desires for how the child is to be raised. The parents are assumed to act in the best interest of their child, and their preferences typically overrule the beliefs of any third party. Termination of grandparent rights can be initiated, and misdemeanor charges may be filed if certain actions are made by the grandparent in violation of a court order. If the child is adopted by a non-relative (except a stepparent), grandparent rights are terminated.
Contact Whiteman Burdette as soon as possible if you require legal assistance to gain visitation rights to your grandchild. This matter is time-sensitive. We offer a free initial consultation for grandparents interested in pursuing their right to maintain a positive relationship with their grandchild. Call: (304) 367-9422.