Witnessing loved ones endure something as difficult as a
divorce can be extremely difficult. It is in those moments that the instincts
of a parent come into play. As a grandparent, you may have a great affection
for your grandchildren – one that may even compete with how you
feel about your own children. The laws of our state have recognized this
reality about the human condition and given grandparents certain legal
rights to see their grandchildren.
What rights do I have as a grandmother or father?
Under California's visitation law, grandparents may petition for legal
visitation rights under a number of different circumstances. This provision is to
ensure children are not wrongfully kept from grandparents, especially
in a time of struggle, and for the benefits such a relationship can offer.
Grandparents can petition for visitation under the following circumstances:
- If one parent has died
During a pending divorce that involves a
child custody dispute
If the parents are not married, including both
paternity cases and finalized divorce
- If the parents of the child have permanently separated, even without a
If the child's parents are still married, a grandparent may still petition
for visitation but the circumstantial requirements become a bit more complicated.
In order to gain legal visitation rights for a grandchild whose parents
are still married, one of the following must be true:
- The parents are living separated indefinitely
- One of the parents has been absent for more than one month and the other
does not know of his or her whereabouts
- The grandparent's petition has the support of one parent
- The child is not living with either parent
- The child has been adopted by a stepfather or stepmother
Need a lawyer for a grandparents' right case in Mission Viejo?
These are the circumstances under which a grandparent in California has
the legal right to request visitation. If you are a grandparent of a child
and you would like to learn more about what it takes to petition for visitation,
contact The Hunter Law Group today. A Mission Viejo family lawyer can help you navigate through the
process and ensure your endeavor is successful. We believe in maintaining
family relationships and want to make sure yours stay healthy and intact.