Grandparent’s Rights in California - Stockton California Family Law

Grandparent’s Rights in California

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One of the most important bonds to a young child is the bond they have with their grandparents. Family law can at times be complicated. One of the more complex issues is Grandparent’s rights. California is known as a “permissive” state when it comes to grandparent’s rights to see their grandchildren. Meaning, California courts are more likely to grant visitation rights to grandparents than in other states. These are known as “restrictive” states. However, there are exceptions to this rule:

  1.  The parents are living separately
  2. A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month)
  3. One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation
  4. The child does not live with either of his or her parents
  5. The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent

Grandparent’s Rights: Visitation

In order for a court to grant visitation rights to a grandparent, the court must find that there was a pre-existing relationship between the child and the grandparent. This previous relationship must have engendered a bond. This means it is in the best interest of the child for them to be able to see their grandparents. However, this is not the only criteria the at which courts will look. The courts will also look to balance the best interest of the child with the parent’s rights to make that decision for their child.

For Grandparents seeking visitation rights from a court, the grandparents must file a petition with the court. This step may be a bit tricky. First, the grandparent must find out if there is already a case involving the child’s parents. These types of cases can include a divorce, a parentage case, a child support case, or a domestic violence restraining order. If there is already a family law case between the parents over any of the previously mentioned possibilities. The grandparent can file the court for visitation citing the existing case. If there are no open cases, the grandparent will have to start a case from scratch. As of now, some courts have developed local forms, and templates grandparents can use to ask for visitation to their grandchildren. Grandparent’s Rights: How an Attorney can help.

Law Case Run Through

Law cases can be very intricate. There can be a ton of paperwork and procedural intricacies that grandparents or the general public may not know. This is why a lawyer can be of great assistance. When trying to win visitation rights to your grandchild, it is nice to have someone in your corner looking out for you. A lawyer will correctly file your paperwork, review your forms, and also help you serve your grandchild’s parents. Once you file for visitation through the court, you must serve legal notice to your grandchild’s parents.This is a very important procedural step, which a lawyer can greatly help with. This lets them know they have to appear in court on a certain date or face legal consequences. This step is crucial because if you serve them incorrectly the case can not move forward. If the case can not move forward, you will continue not to be able to see your grandchild.

Grandparent’s Rights: Mediation

Another area an attorney can be of great assistance is in mediation. After filing your case through the clerk’s office, they will give you a court date. There is a possibility that before your court date you may have to go to mediation with your grandchild’s parents. Having an attorney to provide legal counsel isn’t necessary but can prove to be very helpful. Once a judge makes a ruling, he or she will then sign a court order. In some cases, the clerk or court staff prepare the order for the judge to sign. However, in other cases, the responsibility falls on the person who asked for the hearing to prepare the order. This process can add a ton of paperwork and at times can become confusing which is why hiring an attorney can relieve much of this burden when it comes to grandparent’s rights.

Grandparent’s Rights: What You Need to Know

Grandparent’s rights can be a tricky situation. If the grandparents need to go through the courts to see their grandchildren, it most likely means they are not on the greatest terms with the child’s parents. This can put a giant strain on the family. This adds greater value to retaining a lawyer who can help you win the right to see your grandchild. Although, hiring a lawyer does not guarantee you will win visitation with your grandchild as the courts have to take into account the parents right to make decisions for their child.

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