Securing Visitation Rights for Grandparents
When a family is involved in a custody dispute, the parents are often not the only people concerned about the time they will be able to spend with a child. Grandparents of the children may wonder what rights they have, if any, to visit with their grandchildren and be a part of their lives in the event the parents get divorced, one or more of the parents struggle with addiction, or one or more of the parents become deceased. The possibility of not seeing your grandchildren grow up or not being able to maintain a close bond with them can be a devastating prospect.
In the State of California, a court is permitted to grant reasonable visitation to a grandparent of a minor child if the court determines it is in the best interest of the child. This even applies in cases where a stepparent has adopted a child and/or a biological parents rights are terminated, and their parents seek visitation of the children. The court will grant visitation according to what it believes to be “reasonable”. Keep in mind that the child’s interest in visiting a grandparent will be balanced against the parent’s right to make decision for their child, which will be given special weight.
To obtain visitation rights, a grandparent must petition the court. The procedure for doing so differs depending on whether there is an active case before the family court. A family law attorney can assist you in this matter by providing you with a legal opinion about whether you are likely to be granted grandparent visitation and assisting you in filing your petition with the court. There are several forms that must be completed in order for the court to consider your request. For assistance in obtaining visitation rights for your minor grandchild, contact us today.