Donna Dougherty Law P.C.

Grandparents’ visitation rights: In children’s best interests

When divorce comes with the pain and anxiety of a custody battle, grandparents may fear that they will lose contact with their beloved grandchildren. However, Virginia grandparents have a strong case in court for visitation rights regardless of which parent receives custody. 

Under Virginia law, matters of custody and visitation must be decided according to the best interests of the child. This means that custody or visitation rights may be granted to “persons with a legitimate interest” in the child. The judge may interpret this term broadly to make the best decision for the child. Grandparents are among the many individuals who may be considered as persons with legitimate interest, particularly if they have argued their case before the court or played a role in the suit for custody. 

Virginia law also includes step-grandparents within the realm of persons with legitimate interests. This means that in the case of a custody fight between a stepparent and a biological parent, step-grandparents will not necessarily lose access to the step-grandchildren with whom they have bonded. 

As noted by Family Studies, grandparents’ visitation rights were the focus of Troxel v. Granville, which was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States in 2000. In this case, Justice Stevens’s primary focus was on what is best for the child. He argued that although children’s interests in maintaining familial ties have not been legally defined, their welfare and preferences should, in fact, be considered crucial components in determining visitation rights. Even when emotions are running high during a divorce, parents’ ultimate aim should be to arrive at the solution that is best for their children, which often means allowing them to stay in close contact with Grandma and Grandpa.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

We honor our military & public servants by offering the following discounts

Thank you to Military Service Members, Police, Firemen, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Federal & State Government Employees & their families!

10% discount on initial consultation fee for military and public servants.

Manassas Law Office
9300 W Courthouse Road Suite 204
Manassas, VA 20110

Phone: 703-639-4706
Fax: 703-656-4819
Manassas Law Office Map

Fairfax Law Office
10505 Judicial Drive
Suite 203
Fairfax, VA 22030

Map & Directions