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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Child Custody & Visitation

Quite often, grandparents wish to join or open a family law case in order to gain visitation rights of their grandchildren. They can be under the assumption that they either have the same rights of the parents of the grandchild or none at all. As it turns out, grandparents’ rights can be complicated. It boils down to the facts of each case and the relationships that are established between the parties.

What Rights Do Grandparents Have Under CA Law?
California Family Code section 3100 specifies grandparents’ visitation rights. Grandparents may ask the family court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild but the Court has to find that there was some preexisting relationship between them and balance the best interest of the child in that scenario. There is also case law that must be considered by the Court when determining rights here.

When Do Grandparents Have No Rights?
Generally, when the parents are married, grandparents cannot get visitation rights of the grandchild. Additionally, if the child has been adopted by someone other than a step-parent or grandparent, visitation rights do not apply. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If the parents are living separately, their locations are unknown, the child does not live with the parents, or one of the parents joins the petition for visitation, the grandparents may gain visitation rights.

Why You Should Hire An Attorney
Visitation is an area of family law that can become very complicated, depending on the facts of each case. Hiring an experienced attorney will help you and demystify the complexity of the process. If you’re looking to file or modify an existing custody or visitation order, contact Butler Law, PC and one of our experience family law attorneys may be able to assist you.