Some grandparents are fortunate enough to live near their grandchildren and see them regularly, but all grandparents are not able to do that. In some states, grandparents can be cut off from their grandchildren after a family problem and there may not be much they can do. California is considered permissive in granting grandparents the right of visitation with their grandchildren, but this particular matter of Family Law in Fair Oaks CA can still be challenging.
A Grandparent Must Meet Two Requirements
In California, there are two requirements that a grandparent must prove to the court before the court will grant reasonable visitation.
* There must be a pre-existing bond between the grandparent and grandchild, such that visitation is in the best interests of the child;
* The court must weigh the best interests of the child and spending time with the grandparent against the decision-making rights of the parents.
These Situations Allow a Grandparent to File for Visitation
Normally, if the grandchild’s parents are married to each other, the grandparent is not allowed to file for visitation. In this case, the grandparent should either try to resolve the problem privately or endeavor to get the parents to agree to mediate the problem with a neutral person.
Exceptions that allow a grandparent to file for visitation include:
* Parents who live in separate homes
* A parent whose whereabouts have been unknown for at least one month
* A parent has joined with the grandparent’s visitation petition
* A grandchild who doesn’t live with either parent
* A stepparent has adopted the grandchild
In these circumstances, it is possible that visitation will be granted, but it is even more difficult.
* One parent has died
* The parents are unmarried
If Conditions Change, Visitation Would be Canceled
If a grandparent has been granted visitation rights by the court but conditions change and none of the requirements and exceptions no longer apply, either parent can ask the court to cancel visitation. The court must comply and end the grandparent’s visitation rights.
Contact Law Office of Hugh O. Allen to learn how to protect your right to see your grandchildren. The family may be having problems, but Family Law in Fair Oaks CA recognizes that grandparents and grandchildren have a special bond. This Sacramento family law attorney has been certified by California’s Board of Legal Specialization as a family law specialist since 1980. He has the experience you need.