In the Commonwealth of Virginia, grandparents have the right to obtain custody of their grandchildren in certain situations. That’s because Virginia allows any person with a legitimate interest in the well being of a child to petition. Getting custody requires a court order, and not all grandparents who petition will have their wishes granted. Grandparents can also petition for child visitation in cases where they are being denied visits by a child’s guardian.
Federal laws are designed to protect the parental rights of mothers and fathers. Therefore, grandparent custody or visitation may be seen as an infringement of these rights. That’s why obtaining grandparent custody can be a difficult legal battle. Petitioners need to show that the rights of natural parents require infringement and that grandparent custody is in the kids’ best interests.
Several conditions could convince the court to take away the parental rights of natural parents. For example, evidence of mistreatment or neglect as well as evidence that shows the parents are unfit could lead to a custody change. A court will generally award custody to the grandparents if it’s clear that doing so would be better for the children.
Grandparents who believe that having child custody will be better for their grandchildren should consider seeking counsel from an attorney. A lawyer who takes on a custody case will examine the circumstances and recommend a legal course of action based on current state and federal law. They are responsible for representing the interests of the client in and out of family court.