Going through a divorce has been proven to be one of the most challenging experiences for parents who decide to file. When children are involved, divorce tends to be a much more complicated process. Making decisions on child support, child custody, and visitation rights can be tough. If the child’s grandparents are involved in his or her life, then they may have the opportunity to file for visitation rights, under certain conditions.

When Are Visitation Rights Granted to the Grandparents?

A grandparent can ask for visitation rights with his or her grandchild under California law. However, there are some criteria that must be met for these rights to be officially granted. The court must find that there is a pre-existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparent, and visitation rights are in the best interest of the grandchild. The court must also take into account the best interest of the child in having visitation with the grandparent with the parents’ rights to make decisions for the child.

When the child’s parents are married, the grandparent may not file for visitation rights, unless the following occurs:

The grandchild was adopted by a stepparent;The child does not live with either the mother or father;Either the father or mother joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;No one knows of the whereabouts of one or both of the parents; orThe parents live separately.

Asking for Visitation Rights in Court

A grandparent who would like to file for visitation rights can file a petition in court. If there is already a family law case filed between the child’s parents, including a divorce, paternity case, child support case, or domestic violence case, then the grandparent may have the opportunity to request visitation rights under the existing case. However, if there is no case that is open, then the grandparent may need to file a petition in court to begin a case.

Call a San Jose Visitation Rights Attorney

The process of filing for divorce is often financially and emotionally taxing. If you are a grandparent who is fighting for visitation rights to see your grandchild, then you may want to seek legal advice. At Dominion Law Group, LLP, we have represented our clients in various family law matters for over 28 years, so you will be guaranteed effective legal representation. To schedule a free initial consultation, please contact a Santa Clara County divorce lawyer at 408-288-5592 to get the help you deserve.


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