Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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Grandparents and visitation rights in California

The relationship between a grandparent and his or her grandchild is important, and it is one worth preserving and protecting. In some cases, disputes with the parents or a divorce could compromise this relationship, and parents may find it necessary to take steps to protect their rights to visitation and regular access to their grandkids.

In California, grandparents have the right and the option to pursue visitation rights with their grandkids. In order to petition the court successfully, you must be able to prove that visitation would be in the best interests of the child or preserve an already strong relationship between family members.

What does the court require of grandparents?

In order to grant grandparents visitation rights, the court will look for evidence of one or both of the following:

  • Evidence of a pre-existing and strong relationship between the grandkids and grandparents
  • Evidence that balancing both the rights of the parents and the rights of the grandparents would protect the best interests of the child

In most cases, grandparents would not receive visitation rights if the two parents were still married. However, you may have a valid claim to petition the court for rightful access to your grandkids if any of the followings apply to your situation:

  • Parents are separated
  • Whereabouts of parents are not known
  • One parent wants to petition for visitation with the grandparents
  • Child does not currently live with his or her parents
  • Stepparent adopted the child

Not every grandparent who petitions the court will have visitation rights. If granted, a parent or both parents can go back to the court and seek to have these rights changed or revoked if circumstances change. If you believe that you may have a rightful claim to visitation with your grandkids, you do not have to navigate this complicated legal matter alone.

Starting the legal process

While California law does allow grandparents to seek visitation, there is not a set way to do this. Actually navigating this process can be complicated, and you may not be sure where to begin. It can be beneficial to first seek a complete understanding of your rights and possible claim to visitation. An experienced family law attorney can evaluate your situation and identify the most appropriate course of action for you.

As a grandparent, you know how important it is to have a strong role in the life of your grandchild, and you may have a valid claim to go through the court to secure your visitation rights.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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Del Mar, CA 92014

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