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New Law Grants Rights To Grandparents

Grandparents often play an important role in the lives of children. In many situations, grandparents even take over parenting duties, spending a substantial amount of time raising the child. In the midst of divorce or child custody battles, grandparents may be pushed aside. However, newly passed legislation allows Alabama grandparents to assert their rights and pursue visitation with their grandchildren.

What House Bill 334 Means For Alabama Grandparents

According to a recent article from WIAT, Governor Robert J. Bentley signed House Bill 334 into law. The bill replaces Alabama's previous law addressing grandparent rights, which had been challenged on the basis of being unconstitutional.

Essentially, the new bill allows grandparents to petition for visitation rights in the event of a divorce, legal separation or death of one of the parents, as well as if parental rights are being terminated. Maternal grandparents may also pursue visitation rights for grandchildren born out of wedlock, as may paternal grandparents if paternity has been established.

While this law will prove beneficial, grandparents should not assume that getting visitation rights will be easy. A key provision of the new law is a presumption that the parent is acting in the child's best interest when denying or limiting interaction with the grandparent. It will be the grandparent's duty to overcome that presumption by showing that he or she has a significant relationship with the grandchild and that granting grandparent visitation rights would be in the child's best interest.

An Advocate For Grandparents

At the Law Offices of Vickers & White, PLLC, our attorneys can advocate for grandparents who have been shut out of their grandchildren's lives or fear that they will be. We understand the law and can help you protect your relationship with your grandchild.

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