In the state of California, grandparents have some legal rights to visitation with their grandchildren. A grandparent seeking child custody is considered a guardianship. There is a different guardianship court process that is separate from grandparent visitation rights. Either way, a skilled family law attorney can help you pursue your rights for your grandkids. As a top San Bernardino & Ontario family law firm, we have assisted many grandfathers and grandmothers with their grandparents’ rights over the years and know how to best represent them in court. Here are some of the common questions that we hear from our clients.
What Rights Do Grandparents Have in California?
Grandparents in California that are seeking visitation of their grandchildren have legal options to pursue their rights. Under state laws in California, grandparents are allowed to seek reasonable visitation with their grandchildren. In order to grant visitation, the court must do two things:
- Determine that there was a pre-existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparent. This means there is a bond between the parties that would be in the child’s best interest to maintain with visitation.
- Determine a balance between the grandparent’s rights to visitation and the parent’s decision-making rights for the well-being of their child.
When the parents of the grandchild are still married, it is uncommon for grandparents to be issued visitation rights. However, exceptions can be made on a case by case basis. Here are a few reasons that a court may issue visitation rights to a grandma or grandpa while the parents of the child are still married:
- The parents do not live together
- The location of either parent is unknown
- A parent joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation rights
- The child has been adopted by a stepparent
- The grandchild is not living with either parent
As you can see, there are many factors that are considered when issuing visitation rights for grandparents. This is why it is beneficial to enlist the help of a skilled family law attorney to help the grandparent navigate the court system and fight for their visitation rights.
What Grandparents’ Custody Rights Do I Have?
As we mentioned above, a grandparent’s right to visitation and child custody are two separate things. There are many reasons grandparents can file for custody of a grandchild. Guardianship of a child in California involves having custody of the child, managing the child’s estate, or both. A guardianship is not the same as an adoption. Parents in situations where a grandparent becomes a guardian will still retain parental rights. The parents can be granted reasonable contact with the kids.
The court may also end the guardianship when parents are capable of fully caring for the child. The court may supervise the guardians. If you are a grandparent seeking custody of your grandchildren, then you should consult with a qualified attorney about your guardianship case.
Consult with an Attorney for Grandparent’s Legal Rights in San Bernardino & Ontario
As a grandparent, you can be awarded visitation rights in the state of California. To pursue your rights to visit your grandkids, you should speak with a qualified attorney that understands California family law. The attorneys at RM Law Group in San Bernardino and Ontario offer honest legal advice for your grandparent’s rights issues. We welcome new clients with free consultations. Call us today at (909) 453-2707 or fill out our easy online form for your risk-free consultation.