Grandparent's Visitation Rights in California

According to California Family Code section 3100, the family court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparent of a minor child.

The following are the basic situations in which grandparent visitation rights are given:

  • A parent has passed away. If it is in the best interest of the child, a court may grant visitation rights to a close relative of that parent.
  • Parents filed for divorce. A grandparent is allowed to join in the divorce proceedings in order to gain visitation rights or file a separate action.
  • Child’s parents are not married. A grandparent is allowed to gain visitation rights.
  • The parents are living in separate households.

If the parents are married, but living separately, the courts may consider the following factors:

  • If the parent is aware of the other parent's living arrangement
  • The length of time one parent has not been active in the child's life
  • If one or the other parent supports the petition for grandparent visitation
  • Where the child is currently living
  • If the child has been adopted by a stepparent

In the event of a divorce between the parents, the court must balance the best interest of the child against the traditional right of the parents to decide whom their kids associate with. So, if the custodial parent objects to visitation with the grandparent, then the court assumes it is in the child’s best interest. Fortunately, if this is your case, you still have an opportunity to seek visitation rights.

Under Family Code section 3105, children have a fundamental right to maintain healthy, stable relationships with a person who has served a substantial parental role. This means that you must demonstrate that a pre-existing relationship with your grandchild was in place, by showing facts and how the loss of that relationship will have an adverse impact on the child’s growth, or otherwise known as "engendered a bond." The law also protects grandparents from losing their rights to visitation in the event of a stepparent adopting the grandchild.

Let a Westlake Village Family Law Attorney Help You

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, I understand what it takes to obtain the outcome you desire. With more than 30 years of experience, I possess the comprehensive understanding of state family laws and court processes to help you navigate through the possible complexities of your case. Let me help you reunite your family.

Contact my firm and request a free consultation today.

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