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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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In Georgia, does a grandparent or aunt have visitation rights

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In Georgia, does a grandparent or aunt have visitation rights to a child?
Good morning from Savannah,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Under GA law, a grandparent may petition the court to seek visitation rights with a grandchild, provided that the parents are divorced or one of them has died.

While the process to gain court approval of visitation for a grandparent is expensive and time consuming---it is possible if it can be shown that the visitation is in the best interests of the child.

The aunt does not have the right to visitation, though she obviously would participate if the grandparents seek, and are awarded, visitation.

Depending on your daughter's age, the court may find that she has a legitimate reason not to want visitation and it may well go to the court's finding that visitation is not in the child's best interest.

At this point you really need do nothing, other than wait and see. If the grandparents petition the court, you and your husband will have the right to defend against it. If your stepdaughter is at least 14, the court will almost certainly give her wishes significant weight.

One other thing comes to mind. You might consider petitioning the court to adopt your stepdaughter. If the legal mother and father are married and want to prevent visitation, it is nearly impossible for a grandparent to succeed in getting the court to grant visitation.

I wish you and your family the best in 2010.

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