A new bill providing for Grandparent Visitation in Alabama has passed the Alabama Legislature. Under the new law, a grandparent can file an original action for visitation or intervene in a pending action relating to custody of a child where the parents’ relationship is terminated by death or divorce, the child was born out of wedlock, or if one of the parents’ parental rights have been terminated.

There is a rebuttable presumption under the law that the parent’s decision not to allow visitation is in the best interests of the child, and the burden is on the petitioning grandparent to rebut said presumption. To rebut this presumption, the grandparent must prove both that they have established a significant and viable relationship with the child and that visitation is in the best interests of the child.

The new statute becomes effective on the first day of the third month following the Governor’s signature. Previous versions of this law have all been found to be unconstitutional by the Alabama Supreme Court, so it remains to be seen how long this shall remain the law of our state.