Does California Grant Grandparent Visitation Rights?

Pierre Domercq Child Custody and Visitation

Is there such a thing as “Grandparent Visitation Rights” under California’s family law code? 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 visitation rights in some circumstances.” One section of the law governs grandparent custody when the grandbaby’s parents are unmarried. This section was drawn on by the appelate 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. 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 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.
If you are concerned about visitation with your grandchild, especially after a son or daughter’s divorce in Carlsbad or North County we invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.
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.