New Jersey is one of the few states that statutorily provides grandparents' rights in custody and visitation matters. Under N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1, a grandparent must prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" that visitation would be in the best interests of the child.
If a grandparent is the primary caretaker of the child, then it is presumed that visitation is in the best interests of the child. Despite this statutory standard, case law has shown grandparent visitation to be very difficult. That is why you need the more than 27 years of experience our Attorney Christopher Musulin can provide you.
For more information about grandparents' legal rights in New Jersey, contact us to schedule a consultation with our New Jersey grandparents' rights lawyer at Musulin Law Firm, LLC.
Eight Factors Courts Examine in Grandparent Visitation Cases
Under N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1(b), there are eight factors the court will specifically apply to the individual grandparent visitation case at hand:
- The relationship between the child and the applicant
- The relationship between each of the child's parents or the person with whom the child is residing and the applicant
- The time that has elapsed since the child last had contact with the applicant
- The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the child and the child's parent or the person with whom the child is residing
- If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing arrangement that exists between the parents with regard to the child
- The good faith of the applicant in filing the application
- Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect by the applicant
- Any other factor relevant to the best interests of the child
In addition, in the New Jersey Supreme Court case, Moriarty v. Bradt, 177 N.J. 84 (2003), the court determined that a grandparent has the burden of proving that denying visitation would be detrimental to the grandchild.