grandparent visitation rights under California law

Grandparent Visitation Rights Under California Law

Pierre Domercq Divorce

What are the grandparent visitation rights under California law?  What happens after a bitter divorce or a family argument.  A recent case brings insight into a common question regarding California family law:

Can grandparents seek court ordered visitation time with their grandchildren after a Carlsbad or North County divorce?

California family law is written to honor the right to exercise “parental authority” while balancing what is in the best interest of a child.  This usually comes down to a pre-existing relationship with the child and whether it is in the child’s best interests to continue that relationship.

The recent case involved grandparents who moved three blocks away from their son and daughter-in-law when their grandchild was born.  The grandparents were the primary caretaker for the grandchild as both parents were working.

The parents divorced four years later, and during the process of the divorce the grandparents were watching the child an average of 25 days per month.  After the divorce the son and his daughter moved in with his parents.  The parties had a falling out, and the son vowed his parents would never see their grandchild again.

The grandparents sought a visitation order from the Court.  The Court sided with the grandparents, and the child’s parents appealed.  The Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the lower Court noting that California family law provides grandparent visitation rights under California law in some cases.

The Court noted the decision “reflects a legitimate state interest in preserving an already existing grandparent-grandchild relationship that is threatened but in the best interest of the grandchild to safeguard.”

If you are concerned about grandparent visitation rights under California law or your right to have consistent contact with a grandchild we invite you to contact the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists and child custody and visitation attorneys at Burke & Domercq or call 760-712-3741 to learn more and schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers.