Visitation Rights Attorney in Washington, D.C.
Just because you aren’t a child’s parent doesn’t mean you don’t have rights to that child. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even former step-parents may be entitled to visitation of a minor child if it is determined to be in the best interests of the child.
What Are Visitation Rights?
Visitation rights mean that a third party, often grandparents, but can also be another important adult or set of adults, is given the rights to have time with a minor child. Rather than regular custody, the courts make arrangements for minor children to have occasional visits with the adults.
While there are no specific statutes regarding visitation rights for grandparents or other relatives, if a court finds that visitation is in a child’s best interests, visitation can be ordered.
How Can I Get Visitation Rights?
If you have been actively involved in the life of a minor child, you may qualify for visitation rights. Consult with a licensed, experienced attorney about whether your request could be approved.
When your request goes before a judge, you will be asked to provide evidence that maintaining visitation and a relationship with you would be in the child’s best interest. This determination is often based on the same conditions as in a regular child custody case, including:
- The wishes of the child
- The mental & physical capacity of those requesting visitation
- Emotional ties between the child and people requesting visitation
- Continuation of the life the child leads now
- And more
If a parent is keeping a child from a grandparent or other family member, the courts generally assume that the decision was made in the best interests of the child. However, this presumption can be overcome if you can show:
- The parents abandoned the child or are unwilling to care for the child
- Parental custody is detrimental to the physical or emotional well-being of the child
- Exceptional circumstances exist that rebut the parental presumption
Demonstrating that a continuation of the relationship is in the best interests of the child – and not just something you want to do – is the most important factor in determining whether visitation rights may be granted.
Experienced Visitation Rights Representation in Washington, D.C.
At Lopez Law Firm, we know your relationship with your young relative is important to you. That’s why we work tirelessly to help you gain visitation rights in Washington, D.C. Schedule your consultation today!