As a grandparent, your grandchildren are probably some of the most important and valuable people in your life, and to maintain strong relationships with them, visits are generally necessary. Family situations can prove quite complicated, however, and sometimes parents or others deny grandparents visitation, or do not permit grandparents to visit with grandchildren as much as the grandparents might like.

What recourse might you have, if you cannot see your grandchildren? In Georgia, you do not automatically have visitation rights just by being a grandparent, but there are avenues you may be able to take. If you wish to obtain legal visitation rights to your grandchild, you may try and do so through one of two methods.

Through petition

You may file a petition for visitation with the superior court, but know that there are certain stipulations for doing so. For starters, there cannot be any other custody proceedings concerning the child going on at the same time, or within the same year, as you make your filing for visitation.

Additionally, you may not file for grandparent visitation if your grandchild still lives with both parents. The parents must have already separated or divorced for you to move forward using this method. Finally, you may only file for grandparent visitation once within a two-year period.

Through an ongoing case

The second method you might be able to utilize in your quest for grandparent visitation is by joining a legal case that is already in progress. For example, if there is already a custody or visitation battle concerning a particular child, you may be able to get involved in the case and pursue your own right to visitation.

In most grandparent visitation cases, the courts consider first the benefits for the child. Regardless of the method you choose to pursue, your degree of success will likely hinge on your ability to show that time spent with you is in the best interests of your grandchild.