Grandparents’ Rights: Understanding the Laws in New Jersey

By Lois G. Schwartz | June 28, 2023

Grandparents' Rights: Understanding the Laws in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren holds significant value. However, there are instances where parents may consider limiting or denying access to grandparents. While it is important for grandparents to understand their rights under New Jersey law, it is equally important to address the question: “Is it okay if I don’t let my kids see their grandparents?” This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of grandparents’ rights in New Jersey as well as the potential impact of limiting grandparent-grandchild relationships.

I. Understanding Grandparents’ Rights in New Jersey:

New Jersey recognizes the importance of fostering a strong bond between grandparents and their grandchildren and acknowledges that maintaining a relationship can be beneficial for the child’s overall well-being. As such, the state has enacted laws that allow grandparents to seek child custody and visitation under certain circumstances.

II. Petitioning for Visitation Rights:

Under New Jersey law, grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights if the parents are divorced, separated, or have passed away. The court will consider the following factors when determining whether visitation is in the best interest of the child:

1. The Relationship Between the Child and the Grandparent: The court will assess the existing bond between the grandparent and the grandchild and the extent to which the grandparent has played a significant role in the child’s life.

2. The Parents’ Objections: If both parents are against granting visitation rights, the court will give considerable weight to their decision, unless the grandparent can demonstrate that visitation would be in the child’s best interest.

3. The Impact on the Child: The court will evaluate the potential impact of visitation on the child’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

4. The Grandparent’s Motivations: The court will consider the grandparent’s reasons for seeking visitation rights and whether they have a genuine and sincere interest in the child’s welfare.

III. Grandparent’s Custody Rights:

In certain exceptional circumstances, grandparents may seek custody of their grandchildren. This typically arises when both parents are deemed unfit or when it is in the child’s best interest to live with the grandparents. To obtain custody, grandparents must demonstrate the following:

  • Unfitness of Parents: The court will examine the parents’ ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child. Factors such as substance abuse, neglect, or domestic violence may be taken into account.
  • Best Interest of the Child: The court will prioritize the child’s best interest and evaluate factors such as the child’s emotional and physical well-being, the existing bond with the grandparent, and the child’s preferences (if they are of sufficient age and maturity).

IV. Impact of Limiting Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships:

While parents have the right to make decisions regarding their children’s welfare, it is essential to consider the potential consequences of limiting or denying access to grandparents. Research suggests that strong grandparent-grandchild relationships offer numerous benefits to the child’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Grandparents often provide a unique source of love, support, and wisdom, which can contribute to a child’s overall development. Denying or severely limiting this relationship may result in negative outcomes, including increased feelings of loss, diminished family connections, and a sense of missing out on valuable intergenerational experiences.

V. Finding a Balanced Approach:

It is crucial for parents to carefully consider their reasons for limiting or denying access to grandparents. Open and honest communication with both the grandparents and the children is essential to addressing concerns and working towards a resolution that prioritizes the child’s best interests. In some cases, mediation or family counseling may be helpful in facilitating constructive dialogue and finding common ground.

VI. Consulting with a Family Law Attorney:

When navigating complex family dynamics and legal processes, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney specializing in grandparents’ rights cases, such as Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. An attorney can provide valuable insights, explore potential solutions, and ensure that the parent’s rights, the grandparents rights, and the best interests of the child are considered and protected.

Key Takeaway:

While parents have the right to make decisions regarding their children’s well-being, limiting or denying access to grandparents can have a profound impact on both the child and the extended family. New Jersey recognizes the significance of maintaining strong grandparent-grandchild relationships and has enacted laws that allow grandparents to seek visitation or custody under certain circumstances. Parents are encouraged to carefully consider the potential consequences of limiting these relationships and to explore ways to find a balanced approach that respects the child’s best interest while nurturing the intergenerational bond. Seeking legal counsel, such as Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq., can provide the necessary guidance to navigate the complexities of grandparents’ rights and ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved.

Contact Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation About Your Family Law Matters

When it comes to protecting grandparents’ rights in New Jersey, having the right legal representation is crucial. Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq., a renowned family law attorney located in Cherry Hill, NJ, specializes in advocating for grandparents’ rights in visitation and custody cases.

With years of experience, Lois Garber Schwartz understands the emotional complexities involved in these sensitive family matters. She is committed to providing personalized and compassionate legal guidance to grandparents seeking to maintain or establish meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. 

Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq., possesses a deep understanding of New Jersey’s laws pertaining to family law. She will diligently assess your unique situation, gather relevant evidence, and develop a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your specific needs.

If you are facing challenges in exercising your grandparents’ rights or need assistance in navigating the legal process, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. Her dedication, knowledge, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients make her the ideal choice for your legal representation.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward protecting your relationship with your beloved grandchildren.

How Can We Help?

All fields are required to send the form.

    Lois Garber Schwartz

    1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202

    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


    Phone: 856-375-8989

    Fax: 856-482-0343