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Grandparents Visitation Rights In Alabama

by jacquelyn on December 24, 2010

Grandparents Visitation Rights

All states now have some form of visitation rights for grandparents with their grandchildren. The laws vary from state Child Custody|Grandparents Rightsto state so be sure to research the rights in your state and if your grandchild lives in another state you will have to know those laws too. The laws are changing so keep up with the laws in your state.You may want to read this guide at “The Grandparents Rights Custody Center”. According to the US Census Bureau grandparents raising grandchildren have increased in numbers again. The Alabama code states this:

Section 30-3-4.1

Grandparent visitation.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “grandparent” means the parent of a parent of a minor child, the parent of a minor child’s parent who has died, or the parent of a minor child’s parent whose parental rights have been terminated when the child has been adopted pursuant to Section 26-10A-27, 26-10A-28, or 26-10A-30, dealing with stepparent and relative adoption. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any grand parent may file an original action for visitation rights to a minor child if it is in the best interest of the minor child and one of the following conditions exist: (1) When one or both parents of the child are deceased. (2) When the marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved. (3) When a parent of the child has abandoned the minor. (4) When the child was born out of wedlock. (5) When the child is living with both biological parents, who are still married to each other, whether or not there is a broken relationship between either or both parents of the minor and the grandparent and either or both parents have used their parental authority to prohibit a relationship between the child and the grand parent. (c) Any grand parent may intervene in and seek to obtain visitation rights in any action when any court in this state has before it any question concerning the custody of a minor child, a divorce proceeding of the parents or a parent of the minor child, or a termination of the parental rights proceeding of either parent of the minor child, provided the termination of parental rights is for the purpose of adoption pursuant to Sections 26-10A-27, 26-10A-28, or 26-10A-30, dealing with stepparent or relative adoption. (d) Upon the filing of an original action or upon intervention in an existing proceeding pursuant to subsections (b) and (c), the court shall determine if visitation by the grandparent is in the best interests of the child. Visitation shall not be granted if the visitation would endanger the physical health of the child or impair the emotional development of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the following: (1) The willingness of the grandparent or grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent or parents. (2) The preference of the child, if the child is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference. (3) The mental and physical health of the child. (4) The mental and physical health of the grandparent or grandparents. (5) Evidence of domestic violence inflicted by one parent upon the other parent or the child. If the court determines that evidence of domestic violence exists, visitation provisions shall be made in a manner protecting the child or children, parents, or grandparents from further abuse. (6) Other relevant factors in the particular circumstances, including the wishes of any parent who is living. (e) The court shall make specific written findings of fact in support of its rulings. An original action requesting visitation rights shall not be filed by any grandparent more than once during any two-year period and shall not be filed during any year in which another custody action has been filed concerning the child. After visitation rights have been granted to any grandparent, the legal custodian, guardian, or parent of the child may petition the court for revocation or amendment of the visitation rights, for good cause shown, which the court, in its discretion, may grant or deny. Unless evidence of abuse is alleged or other exceptional circumstances, a petition shall not be filed more than once in any two-year period. (f) If the court finds that the grandparent or grandparents can bear the cost without unreasonable financial hardship, the court, at the sole expense of the petitioning grandparent or grandparents, may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor child. (g) Notwithstanding the foregoing, a grandparent may not be granted visitation with a grandchild where the parent related to the grandparent has either given up legal custody voluntarily or by court order or has abandoned the child financially unless the grandparent has an established relationship with the child and the court finds that visitation with the grandparent is in the best interests of the child.

(Act 99-436, p. 862, §1; Act 2003-383, p. 1084, §1.)

Grandparents have the right to visit their grandchildren in Alabama.  Any grandparent may file an action to enforce their grandparents visitation rights if the grandparents visitation is in the best interest of the child and certain  conditions are met


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

George C. Lucas July 3, 2011 at 2:05 am

Please allow me to post this link on your page. This is a grassroots campaign to have a law enacted in Alabama to protect Grandparent Visitation Rights.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/Grandparent.Visitation

This letter is about lobbying for grandparent’s visitation rights and a grassroots campaign to have a law enacted in Alabama protecting Grandparents Visitation Rights.
It has been brought to my attention on many occasions that illegal immigrants in this state have more constitutional protections than the law abiding, tax paying, grandparents who reside in Alabama and are seeking court awarded visitation rights with their own flesh and blood i.e. their grandchildren.
.
This concerns a neglected, forgotten, brokenhearted, disenfranchised group of citizens and voters in the state of Alabama who are being ignored by their elected representatives in Montgomery and especially by the Supreme Court of Alabama.

The Sup Ct. of Ala has ruled that the legally enacted grandparent visitation statute is unconstitutional. This is spelled out in Ex parte ERG and DWG 1090883 (from ala civ app 2071061). The case declares the GRANDPARENT VISITATION ACT unconstitutional in its entirety. GRANDPARENTS HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHT TO VISITATION IN ALABAMA. Grandparents are left with the opportunity to file suit for custody (requiring a showing of unfit parents) or a Dependency action in family court requiring a showing of abuse or neglect. The court has ruled that the parents of a child have constitutional rights and protections while the grandparents have none.

THIS IS NO JOKE. IT IS THE LAW.

Grandparents in this state are being denied a basic right of parenthood and that is the right of a fit grandparent to even petition a court for reasonable court ordered visitation rights with their grandchildren. This campaign is dedicated to righting an injustice that has been allowed to exist in this state for far too long and to call to account those elected representatives, elected judges and elected Justices of the Supreme Court who have trampled on our constitutional rights. This is a grassroots campaign. I am no politician or activist with an agenda. I am a 59 year old veteran who served his country honorably during the Vietnam War and I and all citizens of this state deserve more consideration than we are getting from the politicians in Montgomery. I am a voter and a taxpayer and I am looking for justice. I want the right to have a hearing before an impartial judge as to whether I can visit my grandchildren.
I don’t think that any grandparent realizes the very tenuous nature of their relationship with their grandchildren. In this state your relationship and visitation with your grandchildren can be ended simply on the whim of the parents and the grandparents have no legal recourse. I feel like Paul Revere sounding an alarm of “To arms! To arms!” or am I simply like John the Baptist, “a voice crying in the wilderness.” Either way grandparents in this state need to be aware of this situation.

I am not talking here about custody battles in domestic relations court or visitation where the parents of the child are divorced or divorcing or any case of abuse or neglect where the grandparents are seeking protection. . Your son or daughter can just decide today for no reason at all that you can’t see your grandchild anymore and there is nothing legally you can do about it. This must be changed.
In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the federal constitution, which guarantees Americans “the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances in a court of law.” The Supreme Court of Alabama has taken away that right from the grandparents in Alabama in a case which declares Alabama’s legally enacted “Grandparent Visitation Statute” completely invalid and unconstitutional. It has vested the sole discretion of who has visitation with your grandchildren in the hands of the parents.

So if your son or daughter, for any reason at all decides that you will not see your grandchildren then you will not see them. Period. No recourse. No redress of grievance. You will not win in court because you have no legal right to bring a case. No court case. It could happen to you. You are a hostage to the whims and vengeful, vindictive actions of your children. Your relationship with your grandchildren has no legal protection at all. I am a 59 year old veteran in poor health who served my country during wartime. I am a grieving, grandfather who wants to see my grandchildren. I am being denied that right by a vengeful, hate filled daughter who holds a grudge against me because I divorced her mother. That is all. I do not have 10 years of life left to battle over this issue. All I want is my day in court to state my case before an impartial judge who is not bound up with emotions and hatred and thoughts of revenge over a divorce that occurred in 2008. Who do I petition, the Almighty? And pray that my disowned daughter changes her whimsical, vengeful, hate filled mind and graciously allow me to visit with my own flesh and blood. Who do I petition? We need a law in this State to give grandparents legal protection of their rights..

Please contact your elected representatives and ask them where they stand on grandparents visitation rights in Alabama then cast your vote accordingly. Please spread the word and ask others on Facebook to join this just cause.

jacquelyn July 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

George, I will gladly post your message and I wish you all the luck

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