Grandparents' Rights

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 legal divorce

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.