Grandparents’ rights under California family law

29 Aug Grandparents’ rights under California family law

Children usually suffer the most when caught in a divorce. A broken family can be tough on a minor child. Extended family becomes very important for the well-being and emotional growth of that child. Thus, grandparents’ rights to visitation are given great weight and consideration under California law. Grandparents can formally ask a California court to allow reasonable visitation rights with their grandchildren. The court usually weighs various factors before making a decision.

First, the court determines whether there was a pre-existing relationship and familial bond between the grandchild and the grandparents. Furthermore, the court tries to determine if giving grandparents visitation rights would serve the best interest of the child. The court finally assesses the best interest of the child by taking into account the effect of grandparents’ visitation rights on parents’ rights to grant such visitation. In most cases, if a parent is not likely to allow visitation, grandparents tend to consult professional help in order to maintain contact with grandchildren.

What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Have In California?

As a general rule, grandparents receive visitation rights when parents have divorced. However, in certain cases where the parents live separately or the whereabouts of a parent are unknown, grandparents may separately file for visitation rights with a California court. Rights can be granted even before a divorce is final. If a parent is against the grandparent’s plea for visitation rights, the court may again find an exception. The California Family Code enumerates various provisions for grandparents’ rights to guardianship and visitation.

Under California family law, there are provisions for out-of-court settlement of grandparents’ visitation rights. One may find it beneficial to use mediation or arbitration to accomplish visitation.

Contact a Grandparents Rights Lawyer

The Law Office of Damian Nolan can help ensure that your rights as a grandparent are protected under California law. Call 562-634-1115 for a free consultation with a family law attorney.

Source:, “Visitation Rights of Grandparents,” Accessed on Aug. 22, 2014

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