Roseville Grandparents' Rights Lawyer

Roseville Family Law Attorney Explains Grandparents' Rights

The grandparent-grandchild relationship is one of the most special relationships. While children grow up, they tend to never forget baking cookies with their grandma, going fishing with their grandparent or getaways at Grandma's and Grandpa's house. A divorce in the family can throw a wrench into this relationship. Are you a grandparent torn apart by your son's or daughter's pending divorce and wondering how you will continue to be able to spend time with your grandchildren?

The good news for you is that under California law, a grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. Before a court grants this request, however, the court must make sure that the grandparent and child had a pre-existing relationship that has an "engendered bond" (in other words, the court must affirm that visitation time is in the best interest of the child). The court must then determine how to balance the best interests of the child, with the interests of the parents.

While your son/daughter is still married to their spouse, you cannot file for visitation rights. You can, however, file for visitation rights if your son/daughter and their spouse are living separately, the parent's whereabouts are unknown, one of the parents joins your petition for visitation rights, your grandchild does not live with either of his/her parents or if your grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent (California Family Code sections 3100-3105; you can read these by clicking here). If you have questions about grandparent custody or visitation, talk to a family lawyer about your unique situation.

Want to see your grandkids again? Steps you can take today!

In some instances, you might be able to resolve these visitation issues outside of court. Mediation is often a smart and effective option to pursue. If you choose to take this matter to court, a divorce attorney can provide you with a template or local form you can use to petition the court for visitation rights. The steps to petitioning for visitation rights, as recommended by the California Courts, involve:

  • Figuring out if a family court case is open
  • Filling out the necessary court form
  • Having your form reviewed
  • Making at least three copies of the forms
  • Filing your forms with the court clerk
  • Getting your court date or mediation date
  • Serving your papers to the parents
  • Filing your proofs of service
  • Going to your court hearing and/or mediation session

If visitation is opposed by both parents or with the parent in sole custody of the children, the road ahead of you could be difficult. The court always presumes that fit parents "know best" and are acting in the interests of the child. In order to obtain visitation rights in this situation, you will have to present significant evidence that proves that visitation would be in the interests of the child. No matter what situation face, if you wish to spend time with your grandchildren after your son/daughter has gone through a divorce, the Law Offices of Evan Samuelson can help you! I have over 20 years of family law experience and am a compassionate and aggressive Roseville divorce lawyer you can trust; contact my office today at (866) 270-0336!

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