Legal Update: Grandparents' Rights to their Grandchildren

In a June 29, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia, a key portion of the Grandparent Visitation Statute of 2012 (related to grandparents of a child whose parent has died, become incapacitated, or incarcerated) was held to be unconstitutional. 

There are still provisions in the Georgia code for grandparents to seek visitation with their grandchildren against the parents' wishes, but doing so requires a much stronger showing of necessity. Rather than simply showing that allowing visitation with the grandparents is in the best interest of the child, a showing must be made - to a higher burden of proof - that not allowing visitation would harm the child. Additionally, grandparents are still allowed to file for custody of their grandchildren upon showing parental unfitness of the parents.