Grandparents can be the backbone of any family. Unfortunately, when families change due to divorce or relationship breakdown, grandparents can often be left out when it comes to the children.
Whether it is due to parents having to share custody, which cuts into grandparent time, or with relationships with the other parent severing, many grandparents feel suddenly left out of the lives of their grandchildren.
California law gives grandparents the right to “reasonable” visitation if they seek it in court or through mediation.
Parents Usually Must Be Unmarried
The first requirement for grandparents seeking visitation is that the parents of the children cannot be married. There are a few exceptions:
The parents live apart;One parent’s location is not known (for at least a month at minimum);One of the parents signs onto the grandparent’s visitation request;The grandchild does not reside with either parent; orA stepparent has adopted the child.
What Will a Court Look at in Determining Grandparent Visitation?
A court will look at two main factors when deciding if a grandparent will get visitation:
The relationship between the grandparent and the child. A court will need to see that there is a relationship between the grandparent and the child and that the relationship existed before the visitation proceedings began.The interest of the child in having grandparent visitation with parental rights. Usually, California law gives the parent the ultimate decision making authority with regard to their children. Thus, the court will consider that right with the benefits the child would receive in having a relationship with the grandparent.
In determining what is in the best interest of the child, a court can look at a number of considerations, such as:
The safety, health, and wellbeing of the child;Domestic abuse history of the grandparent;Any use of drugs or alcohol by the grandparent;The type of contact between the grandparent and child and how often that contact occurred and occurs.
Contact a San Jose Child Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
Our firm represents grandparents attempting to get visitation. Some grandparents do not want to go to court over these matters, which is understandable. An attorney can still be a great asset to help you get visitation agreement outside of court.
Our firm also represents parents in cases where grandparents seek to gain visitation. We understand that both parties may have rights under the law and that the guiding principle is what is in the best interest of the children.
Call the skilled San Jose, CA grandparents’ rights attorney at Dominion Law Group, LLP at 408-288-5592 to make your first appointment with our office today.