In Georgia, grandparents can ask the Superior Court for visitation rights by filing a Petition for Visitation.
There are two ways for a grandparent to seek visitation.
1. File an Original Action for Visitation. A grandparent can file what is called an "original action" for visitation. To file this type of action:
- there can't be any other cases before the court that involve custody or visitation for the child
- the parents of the child must be separated or divorced
- the grandparents can't file this type of action more than once every two years, and
- the grandparents can't file this type of action in any year that another custody action has been filed for the child.
2. Join an Existing Case. A grandparent may get involved in an existing case for custody, divorce, adoption, or termination of parental rights. To do this, a grandparent must show the court two things.
- A grandparent must show the court that the child's health or welfare would be harmed if the grandparent could not visit the child.
- A grandparent must show that visitation is in the child's best interests. It is difficult to show these two things. The court does not presume that grandparents should have visitation rights.