For many children, having a relationship with their grandma or grandpa is an important part of their family life. In most families, despite divorce, parents make a concerted effort to help continue this relationship. As in many situations, having healthy and loving relationship with extended family members is likely in the best interests of the child. However, there are times when a grandparent feels like he or she is being alienated from their grandchild. This can be tough as grandparents’ rights vary within each state.
What The Law Says In California
California law provides for grandparent visitation rights under California Family Code Section 3100-3105. Unlike parental rights, there are no guarantees of grandparent rights. Extended family rights are bit tougher to assert. However, a grandparent can seek reasonable visitation rights. This does not mean they will be granted but the court will at the very least review the petition and then make a decision based on the specific facts at hand.
In general, there are two major points that a court will apply to each grandparent visitation rights case. The first is whether there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and the child (“engendered bond”). This relationship must be in the best interests of the child. Only if this first point is met then the court will go on to the second one: balance the relationship with the grandparent with the parent’s right to make decisions for the child.
As you can see, this is not a cut-and-dry decision. There is a lot of examine and every case has its own unique set of circumstances. That is why it is so important to have a skilled family law attorney in California represent you if you are seeking visitation rights as a grandparent. There are additional factors and requirements that must be met. To find out more, discuss your case with an experienced California family law lawyer today.