This post will address the “related” issue of grandparents’ rights in California. You may remember that in a recent post we discussed the subject of paternity determination, and how that issue impacts divorce and fathers’ rights issues.
Grandparents’ rights is a very real, legally defined arena in California. Grandparents may be concerned, when hearing about a child’s impending divorce, that they may lose or face obstacles to visitation with grandchildren. The California Family Court may be petitioned to grant or assert these rights. For example:
- The right to reasonable visitation. The court will take into consideration the pre-existing relationship bond between the grandparents and grandchildren; also, whether granting that visitation would be in the best interest of the children, in relation to the parents’ rights to make decisions regarding their children. For example, if a parent’s parent has a substance abuse problem, the parent(s) may not wish their children to spend time with that grandparent.
Setting the subject of divorce aside, there are other situations in which grandparents may wish to assert their legal rights. Suppose the grandchildren’s’ parents are still married, but the following conditions also exist:
- Parents are not living together
- A parent’s whereabouts are unknown
- One of the parents joins the grandparents’ petition
- The child in question does not live with either parent or has been legally adopted by a step-parent
When and if the conditions enumerated above should change, then parent(s) may petition the court to end the grandparents’ visitation arrangement.
It’s not uncommon for families to first attempt to resolve their disputes on their own. However, enlisting the help of a skilled, knowledgeable family law attorney is well advised, and can change the direction of any previous efforts, toward the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. At Dinnebier & Demmerle, we provide personalized legal advice plus the extensive experience of Orange County’s premier family law specialists. Please call at your convenience to set up a consultation. We are right here in Tustin, Orange County. When you’re ready to move forward, call us at 714-598-3714.