It is not uncommon for grandparents to have a substantial amount of involvement in the lives of their grandchildren and, in some cases, for them to take on some parental roles. After a divorce, however, grandparents may be concerned that this role may be significantly reduced, and that their time will be severely limited.
Can Grandparents Request Visitation?
Of course, parents can allow their children’s grandparents to visit without having to obtain a court order. If one or both parents put an end to these visits, it may be possible for the grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights.
Generally, family courts in California will not accept these petitions if the parents are still married, unless:
- The parents separated
- A parent died
- The children do not live with either parent
- One of the parents is involuntarily institutionalized or incarcerated
- The children were adopted by a stepparent
- One of the parents supports the grandparents’ request for visitation
If grandparents are granted visitation based on one of the above factors, the parents can request that it be terminated once those circumstances no longer exist.
How Do Courts Determine if Visitation Rights Should be Granted?
Much like any other family law matter involving children, family courts will typically base a decision regarding grandparent visitation on the best interests of a child.
Here are some of the factors that are examined in grandparent visitation cases:
- The wellbeing, safety, and health of the children
- If there is a history of substance abuse
- If anyone seeking custody or visitation has a history of domestic abuse
- How much contact the children have with their grandparents
- If any of the children are 14 years of age or older, a judge may also consider their opinion
If a parent dies, the court may also grant visitation to the deceased parent’s extended family, including the children’s grandparents, if it is decided that it is in their best interests.
Discuss Your Visitation Case with Our Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!
Grandparents are not guaranteed visitation with their grandchildren, but it is possible to petition the court with a request for these rights. At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider, our experienced attorney will guide and advise you through every step of your case, so you can obtain the best possible results for you and your family.
Reach out to our law office today at (619) 304-8499 to schedule a consultation with our family law attorney and get started on your case.