Can a Family Law Attorney Help Grandparents Who Are Denied Access to Grandkids?
If you are a grandparent who is not being allowed to see your grandchildren, you should contact a Newport Beach family law attorney as soon as you can. Your attorney can help you to determine if you have any legal grounds to make a claim to force the children’s parents to allow you to spend some time with your grandchildren. Your attorney can also provide you with invaluable help during the process of seeking grandparent visitation rights.
At Brown & Charbonneau, LLP, we understand how frustrating it can be when you are being denied any access to the grandchildren that you love. We care deeply about our clients and our legal team will fight very hard to help ensure that you get to see your grandkids. To find out more about the assistance that we can offer, give us a call today to talk with a Newport Beach family law attorney.
When Can Grandparents Sue for Visitation?
The Judicial Branch of California provides some information on circumstances in which grandparents may ask the court for visitation rights of their grandchildren. In general, a grandparent cannot ask the court to compel visitation with grandchildren in situations where the child’s parents are married. However, there are some limited exceptions to this. For example, a grandparent could ask the court for visitation rights if the parents are married and:
- The parents are living in separate households.
- One of the child’s parents has been missing for at least a month and his or her whereabouts are officially unknown.
- Either of the child’s parents joins the grandparent’s petition which the grandparent submits to the court to request visitation.
- The child is living with someone other than either of his or her parents.
- A stepparent has adopted the child
A grandparent may also petition for visitation rights with grandchildren if the parents of the grandchildren are not married.
Arguing for Visitation Rights in Court
Grandparents may ask for reasonable visitation only. However, just because a grandparent makes a request to the court for visitation and has standing to make such a request does not necessarily mean visitation will always be granted to the grandparent in every situation. The court will consider several different factors in making a determination regarding how much visitation, if any, is appropriate under the circumstances. The court considers:
- Whether the grandparent and the grandchild had a pre-existing relationship which “engendered a bond” between them before the time when the request for visitation is made. Essentially, this means the court is going to look at whether there is an existing relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent.
- Whether it is in the best interests of the child to have some visitation time with the grandchildren.
The court will balance the rights of the grandparent, the interests of the child in having a relationship with grandparents, and the rights of parents to make decisions about their child’s life in order to determine if ordering visitation is appropriate or not.
Grandparents who wish to get the court to order visitation will need to be prepared to make the most compelling possible arguments to convince the court to allow time with their grandkids. You want to have substantial proof of a past relationship and you want to be able to give the court very strong examples regarding why you should be allowed court-ordered visitation time when parents are withholding time with the grandchildren.
If the court orders visitation rights and then any of the circumstances which gave the grandparents standing to sue for visits changes, one or both of the parents can make a request for the court to end the visitation time. If either parent makes such a request and none of the conditions that allowed the grandparents to ask the court for visitation rights exist any more, then the court must end the visitation order. The grandparents will no longer be provided with the right to visit their grandchildren at the court’s command.
How a Newport Beach Family Law Attorney Can Help
Your relationship with your grandchildren is of utmost importance and you deserve to have visitation rights if you are being denied access to the children you love. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP will help you to determine if the law could provide a right to visitation in your situation. We can also assist you in going through the formal legal steps of fighting for the legal right to visit your grandchildren.
To speak with a Newport Beach family law attorney who understands grandparent visitation cases and who has the skills and experience to help you, give us a call today at (866)237-8129 or contact us online.