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Ask a Divorce Attorney – Grandparents’ Rights Cases

Contrary to popular belief, grandparents do not have the absolute right to having a relationship with their grandchildren. In fact, under current California law, grandparents can ask the court for visitation orders granting visitation with a grandchild but only under limited circumstances.

In order for a family court judge to make grandparent visitation orders, the court must find that there was a pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild that has “engendered a bond.” This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in best interest of the grandchild.

The court must also balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent against the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child. The right of a parent to make decisions affecting the child’s upbringing is a constitutionally protected right.

Generally, so long as the parents of the child are married and living together, grandparents have no right to request visitation and any motion made would be denied by the court. However, once the parents separate and/or divorce, a grandparent may be able to obtain visitation orders so long as a bond has previously been established between grandparent and grandchild.

Grandparents may also seek visitation with grandchildren over the objection of one parent when their own child (the other parent) has passed away. This allows for the children to maintain a connection with both sides of the family despite on parent having passed away.

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego