Grandparent Visitation Upheld – High Standard Reaffirmed…
Grandparent visitation has been upheld by Alabama’s Court of Civil Appeals in a recent opinion from 04-10-2020.
As a concept and claim of action, Grandparent Visitation is under constant threat of constitutional challenge. But, thanks in large part to the several elements a Grandparent must meet to prove their claim and the burden of proof by which they must meet them, Grandparent Visitation remains good law on the books today.
(Rule of Thumb: The harder a law makes it to infringe on someone’s constitutional rights, e.g., the right to allow or restrict anyone’s, including an ex-husband’s, DHR’s or even a grandparent’s, access to one’s children, the more likely the law is to be upheld as constitutional).
~ If you would like more information or guidance re any claims you may have for Grandparent Visitation, or even Custody, in your unique situation, you can call our office or book your initial consultation with Foxtrot Family Law right from our Facebook page or website.~
In the recent case, however, the Court of Civil Appeals found that the grandparent filing her claim did not meet her burden of proof. Specifically, the Court found that the grandparent had failed to prove, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that not mandating a Grandparent Visitation would harm the child. Sure, it would have been nice and perhaps optimal, but the lack of it would not “harm” the child.
Sound like a semantic argument? Sure. But that’s another constitutional principle, our government can restrict “bad” behavior that harms society but can’t mandate “good” behavior. Liberty is no free lunch.
This is important stuff and this is hard stuff. As a grandparent, you still have every right to do everything you can to see your grandchild, even if you’ve got to lawyer up to do it.
This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot