What Virginia Statutes Apply to Grandparents’ Custody and Visitation?
How Virginia Courts rule on grandparent’s rights varies from case to case, depending on the individual circumstances involved. It is understandable that grandparents who form close bonds with grandchildren want to maintain ongoing contact through visitation. When conflicts arise between parents and grandparents, a Virginia Beach grandparent custody attorney can help you resolve your issues.
Several Virginia statutes mention grandparents along with parents and loosely define how grandparents may be involved in relationships with their grand children. Virginia statute § 20-124.1 defines a “person with a legitimate interest” saying it “shall be broadly construed and includes, but is not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relative and family members provided any such party has intervened in the suit or is otherwise property before the court. The term shall be broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child.” Virginia statute Code § 20-124.2(B) goes on to say, “The court shall give due regard to the primacy of the parent-child relationship but may upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child would be served thereby award custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest.” So, while courts give parents first priority, which the law calls primacy, the best interests of the child are a strong factor in awarding visitation rights.
Chesapeake grandparent custody attorneys can use their in-depth understanding of the Virginia statutes, case laws and facts that show convincing evidence to argue for what is in the best interests of the child and protect your rights as grandparents.
Darrell M. Harding has extensive experience dealing with custody, visitation and other divorce issues.