Grandparents’ Rights in New Jersey

Parents and Grandparents

Under N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1, the grandparents of a child residing in the state of New Jersey may make an application before the Superior Court for an order for visitation. However, a parent has a right to decide who their child spends time. This precedent was established by the US Supreme Court in the case of Troxel v. Granville 530 U.S. 57 (2000).

According to Troxel v. Granville, the grandparent bears the burden of demonstrating that serious physical or psychological harm will result to the child if visitation is denied. This harm must be both particular and identifiable by nature.  An allegation of harm or a claim that happy memories will be lost because of denied visitation is not enough.

Additionally, the Court seeks to find the balance between the right of parents and grandparents. A judge considers a parents right to raise their child as they see fit, alongside the best interest of a child to have a relationship with grandparents.

Eight Factors Considered by the Court

  1. The relationship between the child and the applicant
  2. The relationship between each of the child’s parents and the applicant
  3. The time that has elapsed since the child last had contact with the applicant
  4. The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the child and the child’s parents
  5. If the parents are divorced or separated, the Court will consider the time sharing arrangement that exists between the parents with regard to the child
  6. The good faith of the applicant
  7. Any history of physical, emotional, sexual abuse, or neglect by applicant
  8. Any other factors relevant to the best interests of the child

You have rights as a grandparent. You can make an application before the Court for visitation. Do not hesitate to contact my office today. We would be more than happy to set up a free consultation to discuss your rights.