Grandparents can play a big and important role in the lives of their grandchildren. As crucial a role as they may play in a child’s life, they do not have the same rights as the parents. However, just because you are not the parent, it does not mean that you won’t have the same visitation rights.
Grandparent visitation rights can be complicated. An experienced Central Valley family law attorney can help guide you and protect your rights with regard to visiting your grandchildren in various situations.
Your Rights as a Grandparent
Grandparents have certain rights under California law with regard to their grandchildren.
The court may grant grandparents with reasonable visitation rights or custody of a grandchild. If you granted with visitation rights, that means you are permitted to have contact and/or communication with your grandchild on a regular or scheduled basis.
California family law categorizes custody as legal and physical. Legal custody grants the custodian the responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s well being and safety. Physical custody grants the custodian the ability to have the child live with him or her.
Grandparent Visitation Rights
A California family court may grant reasonable visitation rights upon petition by the grandparent. Before doing so, the court must establish that there is some type of relationship between the grandparent and grandchild before the filing of the petition. The court will then need to establish that granting visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child. The court will also factor into its decision making process the parent’s right to make decisions regarding his or her child.
Grandparent Custody Rights
In order for a California family court to grant custody of a child to a grandparent or any non-parent, it must consider two important factors:
- Whether granting custody rights would be detrimental to the child’s best interest
- Whether placing the child in the custody of a non-parent or grandparent will serve in the best interest of the child
In short, it would take a lot of convincing of the court to grant custodial rights to a grandparent, or any other non-parent. If you are planning to seek custody of your grandchildren, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Central Valley family law attorney to help you with the process.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a child custody battle or simply have questions regarding child custody, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.