The short answer to the above posed question is: Yes, under the correct circumstances. In Georgia, there is a legal presumption that it is in the best interests of the children to be cared for by their parents and to remain in their custody. However, grandparents may successfully intervene in divorce cases and other domestic relations cases where child custody is an issue to obtain legal custody of their grandchild. O.C.G.A. §§ 19-7-1 (b.1) and 19-7-3(b). See also Walls v. Walls, 278 Ga. 206 (2004). Specifically, according to O.C.G.A. § 19-7-1(b.1), a grandparent may very well obtain custody of his or her grandchild if the court presiding over the custody related matter determines “that an award of custody to such third party is for the best interest of the child or children and will best promote their welfare and happiness.”
Grandparents’ rights is an expanding area of Georgia law, and grandparents are beginning to enjoy more and more victories as it relates to winning legal custody and court ordered visitation of their grandchildren. If you wish to exercise your custodial rights as a grandparent, seek the professional advice of an experienced attorney to begin the process of seeking custody of your grandchild today.