Legal Blogs

Grandparents’ Rights to Visitation

If you are a grandparent and not being allowed to see your grandkids, you should talk with Orange County child custody attorneys. There are laws in California which can allow grandparents the right to visit with grandchildren. However, the laws only apply under appropriate circumstances and certain conditions must be met. You also may need to pursue formal court action and convince the court that it is best for your grandkids if you are able to see them. Grandparents' Rights to Visitation

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP provides assistance to grandparents in understanding the rules for visitation and in pursuing court action to try to get some time with grandkids. We understand how important it is for you to see your grandkids and be a part of their extended family and we will work hard to help make sure you have the legal right to do so. Call our Orange County child custody attorneys today to find out more about whether you can make a court claim for visitation and to get help getting the process started.

Do Grandparents have the Right to See Grandkids in California?

The Superior Court of California explains the visitation rights of grandparents within the state. Typically, grandparents can ask for visitation rights only if the child’s parents are divorced or if the parents were never married. However, grandparents can petition for visitation even if the grandkid’s parents are married if any of the following are true:

  • The parents are living in separate households.
  • At least one parent has been missing with whereabouts unknown for a month or long.
  • Either one of the parents joins the grandparents’ petition for grandparent visitation rights.
  • The child is not living in a household with either one of his or her parents.
  • The grandchild has been formally adopted by a stepparent.

If you are eligible to petition for visitation rights because one of these things is true, that does not necessarily mean you will actually get visitation rights. The court will look at what is in the best interests of the child, and will balance the interests of the child with the parents’ right to make decisions about their own kids. The court will also assess whether there was a pre-existing relationship between the grandparents and grandkids. A preexisting relationship is a factor in favor of deciding that visitation is in the best interests of the child.

It is important to realize that visitation and custody are different. While the court may grant you time to see your grandkids under the right circumstances, the children’s parents will still have ultimate authority over the kids and will still have physical custody over the children. There are circumstances where grandparents can be given temporary or permanent custody over their grandkids, but these circumstances are very limited and it is usually possible for a grandparent to get custody only if parents voluntarily sign custody over or if the court determines that parents are not fit to raise the child and determines grandparents can provide a more appropriate home.

What to do If You Want Grandparents’ Visitation Rights

If you want to pursue visitation rights so you can be assured of getting to see your grandkids, you should contact Brown & Charbonneau, LLP. Our Orange County child custody attorneys can help you to assess the law in order to determine if you can successfully convince the court to allow visitation time. If circumstances are such that you could be given visitation rights by the court, we can help you to move forward in your family law case.

It is up to you to file the right court paperwork to ask for visits, and to convince the court to grant them. The process of pursuing legal action in family court can be complicated and there is a lot at stake. You should strongly consider working with a lawyer who can submit your court petition for you and who can make sound legal arguments on your behalf.

Getting Help from Orange County Child Custody Attorneys

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has provided assistance to many grandparents who are seeking custody because their own kids are unfit to parent, as well as to grandparents who just want visitation with their grandkids who they are being denied access to. We understand the ins-and-outs of California law and can help you to make the strongest case possible. Give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to speak with Orange County child custody attorneys and to find out more about the ways in which we fight for the rights of grandparents.