Are you a grandparent who would like to have visitation with your grandchild?
Under California law, you have the ability to ask for reasonable visitation
of your grandchild. However, certain requirements must be met first.
In order for the court to grant your request for visitation, the court must:
- Determine that you had a pre-existing relationship with your grandchild
and your “bond” is endangered. Meaning, you have a bond with
your grandchild and granting visitation would be in the best interests
of the child, and
- Balance your grandchild’s best interests by granting visitation with
you, and the rights of the child’s parents to make decisions for
Generally, a grandparent cannot ask the court for visitation rights while
the child’s parents are still married, unless any of the following
- The parents do not live together
- One of the child’s parents cannot be located (gone for at least one month)
- The child does not live with their mother or father
- A stepparent has adopted the grandchild
Please note that if you are granted visitation and one of the above exceptions
no longer apply, one or both of the child’s parents can ask the
court to end your visitation and the court must comply with this request.
Have you been raising your grandchild?
In many circumstances, a grandparent is closely involved in raising a child,
for example, the grandparent lives with one of the child’s parents
and cares for them almost full-time. Other times, the grandparent raises
the child and the child’s biological parents having little to no
involvement in the child’s upbringing.
If you’ve been raising your grandchild because their parents were
unable to raise them, for instance, because they had a substance abuse
problem, because they were incarcerated, or because they simply abandoned
their child, you may want to ask the courts to become the child’s guardian.
When a grandparent wants custody of the grandchild, not only
visitation, it’s called “guardianship,” and the process is different
than asking for visitation.
If you are interested in seeking visitation of your grandchild,
contact the Los Angeles family law attorneys at Claery & Green, LLP.