What To Know About Grandparent’s Rights in California
For parents, gaining custody of a child can be very complicated but for grandparents, the matter can be even more difficult. Although the State of California has clear guidelines when it comes to ensuring parents play a meaningful role in the lives of their children, these measures do not apply to grandparents. As a grandparent, if you are concerned with the well-being of your grandchildren, you will need to hire an experienced family law attorney. With more than a decade of dedicated experience, the Inland Empire attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP can help.
The dedicated team at RM Law Group, LLP regularly handles challenging child custody cases, including those involving grandparents. With the support of the law firm, you will get a clear indication of your rights and understand what can be done to protect your relationships. To schedule a free consultation, consider calling RM Law Group, LLP today at 888-765-2902 or complete the private online contact form.
How to Get Visitation Rights with a Grandchild
Based on California law, grandparents have the right to petition for reasonable visitation with their grandchildren. If the parents of the child are divorced or if one of the parents has passed away, grandparents have the ability to seek visitation when the following two guidelines are met:
- A pre-existing relationship with the grandchild existed, which has created a bond with the child. This bond would then make it in the best interests of the child to have an ongoing relationship with the grandparent.
- Additionally, the judge will need to balance the rights of the child’s parent(s) with the best interests of the minor in having a relationship with the grandparent. After all, parents have a right to make decisions on behalf of their children.
Generally, these guidelines apply when the child’s parents have divorced or entered into a legal separation. Grandparents are not usually able to seek visitation rights if the parents are married, unless specific circumstances arise, such as: The whereabouts of one of the parents are unknown; The child’s parents are separated and living in different homes; The child has been legally adopted by a stepparent; and One of the child’s parents has joined the request for visitation.
Getting Custody of the Child May Be Possible
State law allows for a child’s grandparent to seek permanent custody. To accomplish this, grandparents will be required to show that the minor’s health, safety, or well-being are in danger as a result of neglect and/or abuse from one or both of the parents. This present danger can be the result of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, physical abuse, or other immediate cause of concern. In these situations, family law courts are able to terminate the parent’s rights and award the grandparent custody of the child.
Getting custody of a child is not easy, and grandparents are tasked with showing the court compelling evidence that it would be in the best interests of the child if they received custody or visitation rights. Normally, courts will default in protecting the parent’s rights. When one of the parents refuses to allow the grandparent to see the child, the grandparent will need to prove with the courts that this is a wrong decision.
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Family Law Attorney
As a grandparent, if you are seeking to petition for custody or visitation rights, you should know that the process can be challenging. Discuss your case with a well-versed family law attorney who is experienced in grandparents’ rights.
At RM Law Group, LLP, protecting the rights of grandparents is a top priority. The legal firm recognizes that the well-being of a grandchild is too important to just leave to chance; therefore, the firm works tirelessly to ensure caring grandparents and their grandchildren can continue having a close relationship. To schedule a free consultation with the proficient team at RM Law Group, LLP, call 888-765-2902 or complete the online contact form today.