Protecting Grandparents And Their Visitation Rights
Contrary to popular belief, grandparents do not have the absolute right to 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.
The Court Will Always Act In The Best Interests Of The Child
In order for a family court judge to make grandparent visitation orders, the court must find that there was a preexisting 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 deemed to be in the 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 speaking, 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 the 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 the passing of one parent.
How Griffith, Young & Lass Can Help
At GYL, we want to help grandparents maintain their relationship with their grandchildren, so long as it’s in the best interests of all parties involved. If such is the case for you, but your rights have been compromised or denied due to extenuating circumstances, contact a Carlsbad grandparent’s right attorney from our team for help.
We can be reached at 858-951-1526 or via our online contact form.