Grandparents’ Rights in New Hampshire
New Hampshire recognizes the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Grandparents have rights that are protected by statute in New Hampshire. However, exercising and protecting those rights can be difficult for some. If you are a grandparent seeking to protect your relationship with a grandchild or need legal help reestablishing that relationship, the Law Office of Joseph M. Annutto may be your best resource for help.
While the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is regarded in high esteem and as important in the lives of most children, parents do have the legal right to keep their children from visiting grandparents. Fit parents have the legal right to decide with whom their children spend time. If the parents are married and have legal custody and decide they do not wish to keep contact, the grandparents may be unable to pursue the matter through the Courts.
Although parents have legal control over their children, there are circumstances under which grandparents can petition for legal visitation with grandchildren. If the parents are divorced and one parent is inhibiting grandparents from maintaining a relationship, a petition for visitation may be warranted. Death of a parent is also grounds for pursuing legal visitation if the surviving parent tries to interfere with or extinguish the grandparent and grandchild relationship. Another reason a petition may go forward is if there has been a termination of parental rights and grandparents wish to seek guardianship or visitation.
A family court judge will not grant a petition just because the grandparents want visitation under the above circumstances. The court will weigh the situation based on the unique factors that impact the case and decide if visitation is in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors a judge will consider before granting or denying a petition may include:
- If visitation will interfere with the child/parent relationship and in what way
- The impact on the child if the petition is denied and grandparents have no relationship with the child
- The child’s physical and emotional health
As with any custody or visitation situation, the pursuit of a petition may be emotionally distressing for all involved. Cases involving grandparents’ rights need time and attention from a skilled and compassionate attorney who will handle the case with the sensitivity it deserves. Annutto Law Office handles delicate cases of this nature and is dedicated to protecting and fighting for clients’ rights. The attorneys at our firm work diligently to ensure fairness and justice in the family court system. We know what is at stake when children and grandparents are involved. Let us hear the details of your grandparents’ rights case or situation and see if we can help you get the resolution you need.