More and more often, children are being left to their grandparents. Derelict parents who cannot or refuse to take responsibility for raising their children often leave their children with grandparents to raise, support and care for. This arrangement generally serves the parent who is irresponsible, but often leaves a grandparent at the whims of a the irresponsible parent. The way this plays out is that a grandchild is left with a grandparent for a period of time until the parent sobers up or decides to interject themselves into a child’s life. Then the parent acts like they can just pick up where they left off and take control. This often provides a world of turmoil and confusion for the child and the grandparent. But what rights does a grandparent have in such a situation?
We are not addressing the Kinship Guardianship Act in this post, but instead, the Grandparents Visitation Privileges Act. IN New Mexico, we follow the parental rights doctrine…meaning that a biological parent has all superior rights to any other third party. Nevertheless, a grandparent can obtain visitation privileges if it is in the best interests of a child and depending on multiple statutory factors. Moving for grandparents visitation is complex. Most often once a petition is filed a grandparent gets cut off. To protect against this a grandparent needs to strategize and plan effectively under the law. If you are a grandparent needing some direction contact our Grandparents Rights attorneys at the Justice Legal Group.