Am I Entitled to Grandparent Visitation in California?

You would think that with so many changes in family dynamics in the past few decades that every state would have some sort of rights for grandparents when it comes to visitation. However, not all states are as progressive as California. In California, the Family Code doesn’t just leave room for grandparents to seek visitation rights, but for others to do so as well. There are exceptions and limitations, but at least grandparents have some sort of recourse when it comes to being able to see their grandchildren even after a breakup or divorce. Click here to read more about divorce and family law in California.

Marital Issues and Grandparent’s Rights

One unusual feature of grandparent’s rights in California is the role that marriage plays. Only under certain circumstances can grandparents file for visitation rights if the parents of their grandchild are still married. Presumably this is because the court may assume that if the grandparent doesn’t have visitation and the parents are still married, the parents themselves might think that visitation is a bad idea. Even so, grandparents who fall in line with some of the details below may be able to visit their grandchildren after filing a petition with the court. Our lawyers can help grandparents determine the best way to do this. Grandparents may be entitled to visitation in some of the following instances:

  • Parents of the child are married, but don’t live in the same household.
  • The location of one or both of the parents is unknown.
  • One of the parents has joined the petition with the grandparent.
  • The grandchild lives with someone other than his or her parents.
  • A stepparent has adopted the child.

Established Relationships with Grandparents

Some grandparents simply don’t have a relationship with their children. As sad as that is, the parents may have a good reason for not wanting the grandparent involved, even if it has nothing to do with the grandparent personally. The California courts will not approve a petition for visitation with a grandparent unless that grandparent has a previously established relationship with the child. This is for the protection of the child. Having someone they only know as a stranger entering their life may not be in the best interest of the child, even if the grandparent is a wonderful person. There may be things going on in the child’s life that would make that situation too complicated for them. There might also be other unknown factors to consider. Click here for more information on family law.

Petitioning the Court for Visitation

If a grandparent does have a relationship with the child and has lost the ability to see the child, our family law attorneys can help with a petition that the court may or may not approve. The decision is up to the discretion of the judge rather than the parent. However, even after a petition is approved and turned into a court order, either parent may request that the court ends the visitation. If this happens, the court may comply with the parent’s request.

Because there are so many details involved with petitioning the court for the right of a grandparent to see his or her grandchild, contacting us to assist in the process is a wise choice. At Brock Law, we can make sure all of the conditions are met and that the petition is filed properly and in a timely manner.

Related Links:

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Family Law Lawyer Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer Child Visitation

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