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WILENTZ, GOLDMAN AND SPITZER MAKE STATEMENT REGARDING SENATE BILL 774

 WOODBRIDGE, N.J., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer:
 Senate Bill 774, expected to be considered by the Senate as early as Tuesday, Jan. 12, permits a grandparent to obtain visitation rights of a minor child even when the parents are not deceased, separated or divorced.
 The Senate Bill, recently released from the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the companion bill to Assembly Bill A-979, which was passed on June 18, 1992.
 Attorneys at our firm are concerned that this legislation, as it is currently written, has severe flaws. It could be used to present a major intrusion on the intact family unit, placing children in the middle in a war between parents and grandparents. It could be used as a "backdoor" method for a divorced or separated parent to increase visitation privileges.
 Most troublesome is that the Bill, as currently drafted, sets forth no standards or criteria for a judge to consider in determining applications for grandparent visitation. Thus, there is no mandate the court consider the relationship between the grandparents and the child's parents, what role, if any, the grandparents have played in the child's life or other important factors.
 Bonnie Reiss, Esq., a partner in our Family Law Department, sits on the Executive Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Family Law Section. She opposes this Bill and suggests that if such a Bill is to be enacted there must be safeguards built in to protect the children.
 -0- 1/5/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are considering doing any stories on this pending legislation, we suggest that Bonnie Reiss would be a knowledgeable source on the text of the Bill as well as an opponent to it. She may be reached at 908-855-6007/
 /CONTACT: Rita Menz of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, 908-855-6456/


CO: Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer ST: New Jersey IN: SU:

LD-WB -- NY088 -- 1951 01/05/93 18:01 EST
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Date:Jan 5, 1993
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