Alabama Appeals Court: In Divorce, A Fit Parent’s Rights Trump the Grandparents’

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | May 12, 2009 | 0 Comments

Divorce in Alabama, or anywhere else across the country, is a painful and difficult process. As a Birmingham Divorce Attorney, I remind anyone considering divorce to enter carefully and deliberately. Especially for young married couples with children, this can be an extremely stressful and highly emotional time.

When children are part of the equation, parents going through a divorce can encounter numerous other pressures. One source of pressure comes very often from the grandparents of children affected by the divorce. Recently, an Alabama appeals court decided a case where the paternal grandparents sought unsupervised visitation rights against the wishes of the mother.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals overturned a trial judge's ruling that permitted the paternal grandparents visitation of their grandchild without the mother's presence. This is good news for custodial parents, because even though the grandparents in question reportedly had a very active role in the child's life prior to the divorce, the appeals court ruled in favor of the custodial parent. Upon reversing the earlier decision, the Court of Appeals held that it would be improper to place grandparents' rights over those of a fit parent.

The law's outlook on grandparent visitation has been in flux since 2000, when the United States Supreme Court rendered its opinion in Troxell v. Granville. Yet with this recent Alabama decision — and other similar rulings occurring nationwide — it looks as though grandparents will find it more and more difficult to receive court ordered visitation, unless there are substantial allegations, backed by findings that the custodial parent is unfit to act in the child's best interest.

If you are looking for an Alabama divorce attorney or family law lawyer, please feel free to contact my office today. At Eversole Law, we strive to be a different kind of law firm. If you or a family member needs help with a divorce, we will treat you with all the caring and compassion you deserve.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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