Do Grandparents have Visitation Rights in New Jersey?

Posted March 14, 2024

  • Do Grandparents have Visitation Rights in New Jersey?

Brian Budic was recently asked by South Jersey Magazine, “Do Grandparents have Visitation Rights in New Jersey?”

Here is Brian’s response:

New Jersey Courts have long recognized the unquantifiable benefits of a relationship between children and their grandparents.  Specifically, our Courts have found “[a] very special relationship often arises and continues between grandparents and grandchildren. The tensions and conflicts which commonly mar relations between parents and children are often absent between those very same parents and their grandchildren.”

Despite recognizing the important relationships that often develop between grandparents and grandchildren, parents retain a fundamental right to make decisions regarding the care, custody, and nurturing of their own children, including their children’s relationship with grandparents. In a situation where a parent restricts a grandparent from visiting with their grandchild, grandparents have the right to file an application with the Superior Court of New Jersey for visitation.

A Court will only grant a grandparent’s request to spend time with their grandchild if the failure to have visitation would be detrimental to the child. Therefore, a grandparent seeking visitation has the burden of proving to the Court that visitation is necessary to avoid harm to their grandchild.

In deciding whether grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests, and whether damage would result from a lack of grandparent visitation, the New Jersey Legislature has set forth specific factors to be considered by the Court.

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