Parents aren’t the only ones with rights when it comes to spending time with the children in their family. If you’re a grandparent looking for visitation rights in California, you have rights too.
Do Grandparents Have Rights To See Their Grandchildren In California?
The California Court may grant grandparents visitation rights if they feel it is in the child’s best interest. A grandparent may also request visitation rights, which the court can grant under certain circumstances. For example, if the grandparent has established a strong bond with their grandchild and visitation would be best for the grandchild, it may be permitted.
Can A Parent Deny A Grandparent Visitation In California?
California law strongly favors parents over nonparents in visitation and custody cases. In California, parents can deny grandparent visitation if they agree that the grandparent should not be given visitation rights. If the parents are separated, the custodial parent may contest grandparent visitation.
What Is Grandparent Alienation?
Grandparent alienation is when grandparents are prohibited from having a “normal” relationship with their grandchildren. It can be as simple as not inviting you to your grandchildren’s birthdays, graduations, and other significant events.
While many parents may have good reasons not to allow their children to interact with their grandparents, grandparent alienation can be a source of stress and sadness for many grandparents. You may need to consult a family law attorney if you want to see your grandchildren and are having trouble with parents barring access.
How Do I File For Grandparent’s Rights In California?
Under California law, grandparents can file for visitation rights from the court. You do this by filing a petition in court. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as it seems. There are no official court forms specifically for filing for grandparent visitation rights. In addition, it can be challenging to know how to file the petition because there may be a family law case already open (like a divorce or adoption) between the child’s parents. In this situation, you can file for visitation rights under the already open case.
To learn the best way that you can file for grandparent visitation rights, ask your local court for some examples or templates that you can use to ask for visitation with your grandchild. You can also hire a private family law attorney to help you navigate the process.
Can Grandparents Sue For Visitation?
Grandparents can file for visitation rights with the California Court if specific criteria can be met. Generally, you cannot file for visitation rights if your grandchild’s parents are married. However, there are exceptions to this rule. In California, you can file for visitation if:
- The child’s parents are living separately.
- A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (for at least one month).
- One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation.
- The child does not live with either of their parents.
- The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.
Review Your Case With Family Law Experts
Spending time with your grandchildren is one of life’s greatest joys. When that joy is being unfairly taken from you, there is something you can do. Filing for grandparent visitation rights in California isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
At the Law Offices of Bloom and Rudibaugh, we have a dedicated team of family law professionals ready to help you with your grandparent visitation case. Call our Hemet Law Office today at 951-652-1400 or our Murrieta/Temecula Law Office at 951-296-5360 to schedule a consultation with our family law experts and talk more about your visitation rights as a grandparent in California.