Grandparents have the right under Maryland law to ask the court for visitation rights. In the case of custody, courts look at several factors when determining the custodial agreements for “non-parents and deciding to remove children from their parents.” In this article, we’ll tell just what you must know about your rights as a grandparent to child custody and visitation.
Court-Ordered Visitation Rights for Grandparents
Grandparents can request court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren at any time in the state of Maryland. To do so, they must show sufficient evidence that the visitation is the in the child’s best interests. Parents receive preference and greater weight regarding who spends time with their children. This is something grandparents will need to overcome if the parents object to the grandparent’s requests for visitations. You must show that the child will suffer harm such as abuse, neglect, or emotional damage if they are unable to see you or you must prove that the parent is not able to make sound, healthy decisions as a parent.
Custody Rights for Grandparents
The same legal assumption applies to custody. The courts will give greater weight and preference to the child’s parents in regards to custody. However, grandparents can request custody and must provide sufficient evidence that having the child remain with his or her parents would be harmful to their health. Evidence may include proof of emotional or physical harm, neglect, issues with safety and stability, as well as the grandparent’s role as a primary caregiver. The court will also consider how close to the child is to the grandparents and the relationship they have.
Do you have questions about your visitation rights as a grandparent? Find out how to protect your rights by contacting Akman & Associates, LLC.