Many grandparents have close relationships with their grandchildren, providing them with stability and love. In some situations, grandparents may want to seek custody of their grandchildren.
Grandparents do not have an automatic right to custody in California. The court will need to decide whether it is in the child’s best interest to grant custody to the grandparents and there are several factors it may consider.
The court will evaluate whether the grandparents have a substantial and meaningful relationship with the child, like caring for the child or having the child live with them. The court will also ensure that there is no neglect, violence or problems with substance abuse in the grandparents’ home.
It’s also important that the grandparents can provide for the child’s health and safety, education, and their emotional and financial needs. If the child’s parents object, the court will consider that. In some situations, the court will also consider the child’s preference.
Child custody process
The grandparents will need to file a petition for custody in family court and serve legal notice to the child’s parents. The court will hold a hearing where the grandparents will be allowed to provide evidence and testimony to support their request.
The court may order a custody evaluation. With a custody evaluation, the court appoints a professional to review whether the child’s interests are best served with the grandparents.
The court will either grant custody or deny the request. If grandparents need help with requesting custody, there is assistance available.