As a grandparent, the ability to see and spend time with your grandchildren is important to you. In California, grandparents do have some rights, including visitation.
Contact the family law attorneys at Cullen & Murphy to speak with knowledgeable grandparent rights lawyers. We will work with you to see if you are entitled to visitation or custody rights. Our experienced lawyers will counsel you on the process of petitioning for grandparent rights and will advocate for you in all visitation or custody proceedings.
Grandparent Child Visitation
Grandparents may petition for child visitation rights in the following circumstances:
- Parents are living separately
- Parents whereabouts are unknown
- Child does not live with either parent
- Child has been adopted by a stepparent
In general, grandparents cannot file for child visitation rights if the parents are married. If one parent has lost legal rights to the child as a result of stepparent adoption, California grandparents do have visitation rights but they must assert those rights in a petition for visitation.
There are several factors that the court will evaluate to determine whether to award a grandparents’ child visitation rights. The court will balance the parent’s rights to the child with the grandparents’. The court is also required to evaluate the existing bond between the grandparent and the grandchild. If the existing relationship is a strong bond, the court may grant child visitation rights to the grandparents.
Grandparent Child Custody Rights
Child custody rights are much more difficult for grandparents to get. Most courts, unless there are special circumstances, will always grant the biological parents custody instead of the grandparents. Under California law, parents have constitutional rights to raise their children. If, however, you have been the sole caretaker of the child and the parent is either absent or unfit, you may be able to petition for child custody rights.
Cullen & Murphy can advise you on grandparents’ rights to child visitation and child custody. We will ensure that you are informed of your rights. We will advocate on your behalf in court to ensure your rights as a grandparent are not infringed upon. We encourage the parents and the grandparents to work together to achieve a resolution that is in the best interests of the child. Contact the lawyers at Cullen & Murphy to discuss your family law matters. We are located in both Riverside and Temecula.