In California, a grandparent can ask the court to set a reasonable visitation schedule with their biological grandchild if the grandparent and child relationship meets two requirements. First, the court must find the grandparents have an preexisting bond with the child, and secondly, that the continued relationship is in the best interest of the child. If the court finds the first of these two elements present, the court must then weigh those factors against the rights of the parents to make the decisions for their child.
Generally, if a child’s parents are still married, a grandparent cannot file for visitation rights unless the parents are not living together, one parent has passed away, one of the parents joins the petition for visitation, if the child does not live with either parents or if the child has been adopted by a stepparent. If the court awards visitation because one of these are present, and that factor subsequently changes, if the parents ask the court to end the visitation, the court must do so.
Though grandparent visitation is awarded, it is a difficult to overcome the fundamental right the parents have to raise their children. As such, it may be best to settle the matter outside of court through a mediator unless the grandparents are absolutely sure there is no way to come to an agreement with the child’s parents.
If you are a grandparent and you are wish to obtain visitation right or a parent who opposes grandparents’ visitation rights, contact our office to set up a consultation.
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Adult Child Support
Assisted Reproduction Technology Litigation
Child Custody and Visitation
Child Custody Mediations
Child Support Arrearage
Divorce with Children with Special Needs
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