After the US Supreme Court decided Troxel v. Granville in 2000, invalidating Washington’s “breathtakingly broad” grandparent and third party visitation statute, there was an onslaught of litigation, nationwide, seeking to
Continue Reading Grandparent Visitation Just Got Easier – Well, Not Really, But At Least There Will Now Be A Uniform Procedure

For more than a decade, we have known that biological parents have certain constitutional protections that help them defend against grandparents or other third parties seeking visitation with their children. 

Continue Reading Psychological Parents Not Entitled to Same Constitutional Protections as Biological Parents in Grandparent Visitation Dispute

As reported in the online version of the New Jersey Law Journal, in a story by David Gialanella,, state Senator Loretta Weinberg of Bergen County introduced  legislation that would lower the burden of proof for grandparents and siblings seeking visitation.

In the year 2000, grandparent visitation became much more difficult to obtain as a result of the United States Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville which held that Washington’s "breathtakingly broad" grandparent visitation statute to be unconstitutional.  At issue was the constituonal right to parental autonomy vs. grandparents vistitation.  That case set off a wave a litigation nation wide attacking state’s grandparent visitation statutes.  New Jersey was not immune to this and in 2003, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case of Moriarty v. Bradt (a case in which I drafted the Petition for Certification.)  In Moriarty, the court held that grandparents may be awarded visitation over parental objections if a "potential for harm" standard can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence.  SInce that case, it has been much more difficult for grandparents to get visitation because it is very difficult to show harm, and just alleging generic harm was not enough.  We have blogged about this in the past.  In the cases I have had since that time, in order to successfully obtain grandparent visitation, you almost had to show that the grandparent took on a parental role for some period of time and/or was a constant presence in the child(rens) lives. 

Continue Reading Is the Standard in NJ to Get Grandparent Visitation Going to Get Easier?

Previously, Eric Solotoff, Esq. of my office  blogged on the issue of grandparent visitation in comparison to sibling visitation.  To check out his post, click here.

Moriarty v. Bradt, 177 NJ 84 (2003) is this state’s seminal decision on grandparent visitation as decided by our Supreme Court.  Our courts have held that there is a presumption favoring deference to a fit parent’s choice about visitation which must be overcome before the court may enter an order requiring visitation with grandparents on the ground that it would be in the child’s best interests.  Moriarty at 115, 117.  The US Supreme Court also addressed this issue in the matter of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S. Ct. 2054, 147 L. Ed. 2d 49 (2000).

Continue Reading Rights of Grandparents to Visitation