In California, grandparents can ask for reasonable visitation rights with their grandchildren, as long as they can show a pre-existing relationship existed. For this reason, the court will assess whether or not a bond exists between the grandparent and grandchild. In addition, the court will determine whether allowing visitation is in the best interests of the child.
In deciding a grandparent’s visitation rights, the court needs to balance the interests of the child with the parents’ rights. Usually, grandparents can’t file for visitation rights if the parents are still married. However, they may be able to request visitation if the parents are legally separated, one parent’s whereabouts are unknown, or the child doesn’t live with either parent. If a grandparent is granted visitation, the parents can still request an end to the visitation rights if any of these circumstances change.
Marilyn E. Monroe is a Certified Family Law Specialist with extensive experience in San Jose divorce and child custody cases. To learn more about visitation rights regarding children, please contact Moreno Family Law at (408) 266-9011.