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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9905
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I have two darling granddaughters living in Alabama. My

Customer Question

I have two darling granddaughters living in Alabama. My husband and I have had the children for summers and holidays. We feel we have formed a significant bond with the girls. My daughter-in-law has been working on our son to cut us off for some time now. We are just realizing this has been going on for some time. Is there any chance we could go through the court system to have some type of visitation with the girls. My son is no longer responding to our phone calls or texts. He could never really give us a good reason why we have this cut off. Last time we met with him his wife brought a list of issues she has with us. Not much on the list was true. She is quite disturbed, anorexic, has been suicidal, etc... We are beyond heartbroken to have lost our precious time with the grandchildren.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? I'm sorry if I'm reading you wrong here, but it seems as though you might be considering committing suicide or hurting yourself. Am I right?
Customer: No, the daughter-in-law has been suicidal. We live in Louisiana and my son and his family live in Alabama.
JA: Okay. Let's try this again. How can I help you?
Customer: I am curious as to what the current laws are in Alabama concerning grandparents' rights to visitation of grandchildren they already have a relationship with, which has been suddenly cut off by parents.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. My husband and I are good people. We did not abuse our son in any way. In fact he was very spoiled and indulged. He has cut off our entire side of the family at his wife's bidding. I can only imagine what the girls are thinking about our sudden disappearance from their lives.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear this; the 2 parents are the biological parents and are currently married?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.

Unfortunately Alabama is one of the more strict states, and there recent amendment to the grandparent visitation statute only allows a grandparent "standing" (the ability) to sue in limited cases, which are when:

(1) An action for a divorce or legal separation has been filed, or the marital relationship between the parents of the child has been severed by death/divorce; or

(2) child was born out of wedlock and the petitioner is a maternal grandparent of the child; or the petitioner is a paternal grandparent of

the child, and paternity has been legally established; or

(3) An action to terminate the parental rights of a parent or parents has been filed or the parental rights of a parent have been terminated by court order.

So in situations where the above is inapplicable, some grandparents will attempt to mediate the issues, with a professional mediator, so that the parents can realize that a loving relationship with involved grandparents are in the child's best interests, and that the children should not be used as pawns.

I am sorry I don't have better news. One would think that the child's best interests is paramount but the courts allow the parents broad discretion in grandparent issues unless one of the above applies.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.