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Legal Information: Alabama

Custody

Updated: 
January 3, 2019

What factors will a judge consider when deciding if a grandparent can get visitation?

If a parent decides to limit or deny visitation to the grandparent, the judge must assume that the parent is acting in the child’s best interest. In order to convince the judge to go against the parent’s wishes and grant visitation, the grandparent must prove that:

  1. s/he has established a significant and sustainable (viable) relationship with the child by proving:
    • the loss of the relationship between the grandparent and the child is likely to harm the child; or
    • within the past three years before filing the petition, any of the following are true:
      • the child lived with the grandparent for at least six consecutive months (with or without a parent present);
      • the grandparent was the caregiver to the child on a regular basis for at least six consecutive months; or
      • the grandparent had frequent or regular contact with the child for at least 12 consecutive months, which resulted in a strong and meaningful relationship with the child;1and
  2. visitation is in the best interest of the child by proving all of the following:
    • the grandparent has the ability to give the child love, affection, and guidance;
    • the loss of an opportunity to maintain a significant and sustainable (viable) relationship with the grandparent has caused (or is reasonably likely to cause) harm to the child; and
    • the grandparent is willing to cooperate with the parent(s) if visitation with the child is allowed.2

1 Alabama Code § 30-3-4.2(c), (d)
2 Alabama Code § 30-3-4.2(c), (e)