So much is written when it comes to parent’s rights to custody and visitation of children, but what about grandparent’s rights? With so many children being born out of wedlock, establishment of custody and visitation has become increasingly important not only for parents, but for grandparents as well.
While grandparents can file papers with the courts to gain custody of their grandchildren, custody is rarely granted while the parents of the children are still in the picture. Grandparent visitation rights vary from state to state, but almost all states prefer that children live with their parents and for that reason will limit grandparent custody claims to the following circumstances:
- The child’s parents are deceased.
- The child’s parents have been deemed unfit to retain custody.
- The child’s parents consent to grandparent custody.
- The child has lived with a grandparent or grandparents for a year or more.
All states have currently enacted some form of “grandparent visitation” statute, giving grandparents the right to obtain a court order to see and interact with their grandchildren. Visitation orders specify the date, time, and circumstances under which visitation must occur. These types of orders can be especially useful when divorce or separation may cause a parent to limit a grandparent’s contact with his or her grandchildren.
Ultimately, the decision for California child custody and visitation lies with the court. However, it is in the best interest of any grandparent seeking visitation or custody to tread lightly, act respectfully, and portray themselves in the best possible light to preserve their grandparents’ rights and their ability to visit their grandchild. For more information on grandparent’s rights, contact our family law attorneys today at 1-888-749-7428 for a consultation of your family law case.
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