Can grandparents be awarded visitation or custody of a child?
Once again, the court must determine what is in the best interest of the child with regards to grandparental visitation or custody. Virginia statute protects a child’s right to have a relationship with extended family members, even over the objection of the child’s parent(s). This does not ensure that a grandparent will be given visitation or custody, but does allow for a grandparent to pursue the issue in court.
Grandparents wishing to pursue legal rights with children may fall under the Virginia custody statute as “persons of legitimate interest” who may be awarded custody. Parental rights typically supersede a grandparent’s request for visitation or custody so grandparents must have serious and compelling reasons for pursuing legal avenues when seeking access to a child.