What are Your Rights as a Grandparent in California?
Filing for Grandparent Visitation in California
If there is no open case, then a grandparent may file a new petition from scratch.
If you are a grandparent and wish the court to order visitation with a grandchild, then you can file a petition in court if you cannot reach an agreement with the child’s parent(s) outside of court. If there is an existing family law case filed between the child’s parents, then a grandparent can file for visitation rights under one of those cases.
If your grandchild’s parents are still married, then you will not be able to file for visitation rights. However, there are some exceptions.
Grandparents rights in CA may allow for visitation or custody when:
- The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent
- The child does not live with either of his or her parents
- One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation rights
- The grandchild’s parents are living separately
- One of the grandchild’s parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least one month)
California courts are directed to make decisions based on a balance between the authority of the parents to make decisions about their children. The court must also make decisions based on the best interests of the child.
What Legal Rights Do Grandparents Have in CA?
In some cases, it may be in the best interests of a child to be placed with his or her grandparent.
Circumstances warranting grandparent custody include:
- A parent’s mental illness
- Alcohol or drug abuse in the child’s home
- Both parents are deemed unfit to care for the child
- One parent is deemed unfit and the other parent cannot or will not take the child
- Both parents consent to giving the grandparent custody
If other family members want the child, then the grandparent may not get custody. The court will consider numerous factors when making a custody decision, considering above all the needs of the child and which arrangement will benefit them the most.
Contact a Grandparents' Rights Lawyer in San Diego for Expert Guidance
A qualified lawyer can offer you advice and guidance regarding grandparents custody rights in CA. If you are a grandparent seeking visitation or custody rights in San Diego, please contact the Law & Mediation Firm of Klueck & Hoppes, APC for experienced help. During your initial consultation, we can discuss your unique set of circumstances, the laws surrounding your case, and the options that are available to you.
Learn about your grandparent rights in California. Call a grandparents' rights attorney at (619) 577-4900 to request your case review today.