Are you a grandparent seeking court ordered visitation with your grandchild?
The key focus in all court decisions involving children is “What is in the best interest of the child?”. California Family Law Code Section 3102 allows relatives visitation over the objection of the surviving parents. To grant a grandparent visitation with a grandchild, the court must find that there is a pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild. This “engendered bond” shows that granting visitation rights to the grandparent is in the best interest of the child. The court will then balance the best interest of the child with the rights of the parents.
- Grandparents may petition for visitation of their grandchildren if any of the following situations occur:
- The grandchild’s parents die
- A family law case is pending in family court and custody is an issue
- The parents are not married to each other
- The parents live in separate households
If the parents are married, yet live separately, the court will consider the following information when granting grandparent visitation rights:
- Whether a parent knows the whereabouts of the other parent
- How long a parent has been absent from his/her child’s life
- Whether a parent supports the grandparent’s petition for visitation
- Where the child resides
- Whether the child has been adopted by a stepparent
If both parents oppose the grandparent’s visitation order, the order will likely be denied. If this occurs, the grandparents will need to produce evidence that persuades the court that the visitation is in the child’s best interest.
Your ability to be granted visitation rights to your grandchild depends on the legal arguments you present to the court. Thus, it is important that you have an experienced California family law attorney by your side. Don’t fight your case alone. We are here to help. Contact the Law Office of Olga A. Koplik at (916) 745-4378 to schedule your consultation and get more information.