Louisiana Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer Assists with Custody and Visitation
Compassionate representation for contentious family law disputes
There is a special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. Unfortunately, circumstances can threaten to sever that bond. At the Conroy Law Firm, APLC in Covington and Metairie, our family law attorney helps grandparents maintain a loving relationship by obtaining a visitation order or, in certain circumstances, seeking custody. We believe that grandparents who are a positive force in their grandchildren’s lives should have frequent access to their grandchildren. However, when contact is not in the child’s best interests, we also represent parents who need to protect their children’s health and welfare. When you retain our services, you get a dedicated family law firm to help you through an emotional process in pursuit of a successful resolution.
What right does a grandparent have to pursue custody of a grandchild?
Grandparents often seek custody of grandchildren in times of emergency, such as:
- The illness or incapacity of a parent
- The absence of a parent
- Parents losing custody or having parental rights terminated
If a child’s parents are living and want the grandparents to assume custody, grandparents can file for temporary custody or what Louisiana law calls Provisional Custody by Mandate. Provisional custody lasts for one year and can be renewed annually.
When parents object to the grandparents assuming custody, a legal proceeding is required. The court considers the evidence of parental unfitness and the ability of the grandparent(s) to provide a suitable home and act as caregiver(s). The court decides the issue based on the best interests of the children.
Should grandparents fear the children may be harmed because of parental abuse or neglect, they can file for a protective order. A court can grant emergency relief, placing the children with the grandparent(s) immediately. The court holds a hearing within 30 days and can extend grandparent child custody for a period lasting from six to 18 months.
If the state has assumed custody of children because of abuse or neglect, their grandparents can request custody. Courts favor placing children with relatives rather than in foster care. Again, the court decides based on what’s best for the children.
Helping grandparents assert their visitation rights
Grandparents’ rights to visitation are much more limited than a parent’s and are typically only granted when the child’s parents no longer share the same home due to death, divorce or physical situation. In rare cases, grandparents might obtain visitation rights even when parents remain married if a parental substance abuse problem exists or the youth is in foster care. When making these decisions, courts will look at the existing grandparent-grandchild relationship and whether establishing grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests.
Common grandparent visitation disputes
In our practice, we see grandparents denied visitation for various reasons, such as:
- Recent death of a parent — The surviving parent may not be able to handle having the parents of a deceased spouse come to visit.
- Children placed in foster care — Authorities may view the grandparents as part of the troubling situation that led to the children’s placement in foster care.
- Child adopted — Adoptive parents may want to provide a wholly new life for the child.
If for any reason you are denied visitation, there are steps you can take to pursue an order that allows you to spend time with your grandchild. The first step is to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney, who can advise you based on your circumstances.
Contact a trustworthy grandparents’ rights attorney in Covington, LA
Conroy Law Firm, APLC represents Louisiana clients in grandparents’ rights cases throughout Jefferson, St. Tammany and Orleans parishes. We have offices in Covington and Metairie where we have built a reputation for delivering knowledgeable, compassionate family law counsel. For a consultation, call us at 985-606-3885 or contact us online.