Court order is required to modify a consent order concerning a grandparent’s visitation

From time to time we get questions from clients who are having trouble maintaining access to their grandchild after the grandchild’s parent has gotten divorced or has died. In cases where the parent of a minor child resists visitation by a grandparent, the grandparent may need to seek relief through the courts. There is a state statute on this issue. Mediation towards a consent order is a useful approach as well. The “best interests of the child” is the controlling factor, as the right of a grandparent is subordinate to the right of the parent to control the parenting of the child as long as what they do is in the child’s best interests. In the recent case of Lall v. Shivani (NJ Appellate Division), there was a Consent Order which provided visitation by the grandparent. The parent then attempted unilaterally — without a court order — to terminate that access. The Court’s decision says that “a parent must make a prima facie showing of changed circumstances as would warrant relief. If the parent vaults that threshold, the parent bears the burden to show the modification or termination would not cause harm to the child.”

Call us about elder care family planning, protecting access,  and senior estate  planning … 732-382-6070

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *