Alabama Supreme Court Overturns Grandparent Visitation Act
The Grandparent Visitation Act has been overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court. Justices voted 7-2 to revoke the statute as unconstitutional, stating that it interfered with natural parental rights to decide who their children should and should not see.
The Court ruled that fit parents have fundamental rights under the constitution to decide what is in the best interests of their children, even if it results in the exclusion of grandparents from their children’s lives. In a lengthy opinion, which included references to the Bible’s Old Testament, the Court viewed the Grandparent Visitation Act as an unconstitutional restriction on the “nuclear family,” which was described by one justice as the “building block for Western society.”
Alabama legislators expect to introduce more restrictive legislation that will address the constitutional concerns but afford relief to grandparents in limited cases.