Understanding the Rights of Grandparents

It is important to understand the California law if you want visitation with your grandchildren. A grandparent is allowed to ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. In order to give the grandparent reasonable visitation with the grandchild, the court has to determine two things.

1. Pre-Existing Relationship

The court must find that there was a pre-existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparent and that that relationship created a bond. The bond must be so strong that the court deems visitation to be in the very best interest of the grandchild.

2. Balance Between Grandparent and Parent

The court must balance the best interest of the child regarding visitation with the grandparent with the parental rights concerning making decisions about their child.

The grandparents are not allowed to file for visitation rights if the parents of the child are married. However, there are exceptions.

3. Exceptions that Allow Grandparents Visitation Filing Rights

The parents live separately.
The whereabouts of the parents are unknown.
One parent joins with the grandparent’s petition.
The child is not living with either of his parents.
A stepparent has adopted the child.

If a grandparent does have visitation through the courts and circumstances change making none of these exceptions apply, the parents can request the court to terminate the grandparent’s visitation. The court will then end the visitation rights of the grandparents. If you find yourself in this difficult circumstance, it would be advisable to find a good grandparents rights attorney in San Diego.

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