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Does California Family Law Provide for Grandparent Visitation Rights?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2020 | Child Custody and Visitation

Does California family law provide for grandparent visitation rights?  Is there such a thing as “Grandparent Visitation Rights” in a North County Family Law Court?

While the case law continues to grow in this area of family law, there is foundation for a California or North County Family Law Court to consider grandparent visitation rights.  A Court’s decision in a grandparent’s visitation rights case is completely different from child custody and will be based upon the grandchild’s best interests and several other important factors.

California’s Third District Court of Appeal recently affirmed that “California Family Code gives grandparents reasonable visitation rights in some circumstances.” The Judge must decide issues of “reasonable visitation” based upon the existing relationship between the grandchild and it’s grandparents.

One section of the law governs grandparent custody when the grandchild’s parents are unmarried.  This section was drawn by the appellate court to determine how a court should consider the grandparent’s request in light of the best interests of the child while requiring a Court to balance those interests with the parents’ right to exercise parental authority.

Another section of law addresses grandparent visitation rights after the death of a son or daughter with children of their own.  This can obviously become quite legally complex.

In most cases the Court will be looking for a pre-existing relationship with the grandchild and a “reasonable visitation” schedule which reflects the best interests of the child. The Court of Appeal further found it was important to safeguard a strong bond between a grandchild and their grandparents in the specific case in question.

Does California family law provide for grandparent visitation rights?   In some cases, yes.  If you are concerned about visitation with your grandchild, especially after the loss of your own child or a son or daughter’s divorce in North County or Carlsbad we invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.

Grandparent visitation is a developing area of California family law and your case requires the extensive legal experience, skill and insight which the attorneys at Burke & Domercq have gained in our decades of service before North County Family Law Courts.