Gov. Bentley signs grandparent visitation rights law - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gov. Bentley signs grandparent visitation rights law

On Wednesday, Gov. Bentley signed a new law strengthening grandparents' visitation rights. (Source: WAFF) On Wednesday, Gov. Bentley signed a new law strengthening grandparents' visitation rights. (Source: WAFF)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) -

Legislation strengthening the legal rights of grandparents is now Alabama law.

On Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley signed off on the legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) and Representative Mike Jones (R-Andalusia). The law now grants visitation rights for grandparents who have a "significant and viable relationship” with the child and the courts find visitation to be in the best interest of the child.

“Grandparents play a vital role in the lives of their grandkids," said Rep. Allen. "If a grandparent has spent months and even years raising a grandchild, a special bond develops between them, and that special relationship should not be cut off because of temporary disputes between the parent and grandparent.”

A grandparent must prove that he or she either was the caregiver for the grandchild on a regular basis for a minimum of six months or that a loss of relationship will cause harm to the grandchild.

Lawmakers hope these guidelines will protect the rights of mature and stable grandparents to visit their grandchildren, while recognizing that parents have a fundamental and primary right in raising children. 

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