Grandparents’ visitation rights
If you’re a grandparent and California resident and want more information about visitation when it comes to your grandchildren, there are resources to help you understand your rights if your grandchild’s parents divorce. Here is some important information you should be aware of.
State laws for grandparent visitation
According to California law, grandparents can request reasonable visitation from the court. For the courts to grant a grandparent reasonable visitation, the court must find that the grandparents and grandchildren had a previous relationship and that grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest. The courts must also balance the best interest of the child with the right of the child’s parents to make decisions concerning the child’s well-being. For instance, if the grandchild’s parents get a divorce, grandparents can request visitation rights to maintain their relationship with the grandchild.
When can grandparents file for visitation rights?
Generally, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the child’s parents are married. However, there are some exceptions that don’t involve divorce, such as if the parents live in separate homes or the parents’ whereabouts have been unknown for at least a month. Grandparents can also request visitation if one of the child’s parents joins the visitation petition, the child has been adopted by a stepparent, or the child does not live with either parent.
How long does a grandparent have visitation rights?
If a grandparent is granted visitation and circumstances change so that the exceptions no longer apply, one or both parents can request that the court terminate the grandparent’s visitation rights.
In some situations, it may be better for some families to settle out of court. Considering mediation could help families come up with a custody and visitation arrangement that is mentally and emotionally beneficial for the child.