What kind of visitation rights do grandparents have?

What kind of visitation rights do grandparents have?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2021 | Family Law |

Grandparents in California have certain legal rights to their grandchildren. When there is a split in the family due to divorce or a breakup between unwed parents, grandparents might have to request visitation. It’s important to know the rights grandparents have and how they can request visitation with their grandchildren.

When can grandparents request visitation?

According to family law, grandparents have certain rights when it comes to their grandchildren. They can request visitation directly from the child’s custodial parent. However, if the parent appears to deliberately keep them from the child, the grandparents can turn to the court and petition for visitation. This can only be done if the child’s parents are no longer together. There are several situations when it’s appropriate for grandparents to request visitation. They can do so if the parents are separated or divorced.

If one parent has been absent at least a month and their location is unknown, grandparents may request visitation. However, if one parent joins the visitation request, it can strengthen the petition.

Grandparents can seek visitation if the child has been adopted by a stepparent or doesn’t live with either parent. It’s also allowed if one of the child’s parents is in prison or institutionalized not by their own choice.

How do courts determine visitation for grandparents?

The courts allow grandparents to file a petition requesting visitation with their grandchildren. A copy of that petition must be given to both parents, stepparents or anyone else who has physical custody. From there, the court may order mediation for the visitation case. However, if an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, the case will go to court.

When deciding grandparents’ visitation, the judge will examine the facts of the case. They will consider the parent or parents’ wishes if they agree that the grandparents should not have visitation. However, the first factor that’s always considered is what’s in the best interests of the child.

Other factors are taken into consideration, such as whether there is a history of domestic or substance abuse and contact between the grandparents and the child. The court will also look to see if there’s a relationship between the grandparents and child that has been ongoing.