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Grandparent’s Rights

When a family unit dissolves or is separated, Grandparents are often left struggling to define what rights they may have to visitation with their grandchildren.

While not all states recognize Grandparents Rights, in many cases through cooperation and available court action, grandparents can ensure access to their grandchildren.

All 50 U.S. states have a “grandparent visitation” statute that allows grandparents to ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain ongoing contact with their grandchildren. However, establishing your rights as a grandparent for full or partial custody of your grandchild or grandchildren can be a challenging and stressful process. Our job is to help you through the steps of that process and achieve the best outcome possible.

If you wish to establish guardianship of your grandchild, understanding your rights in the care is extremely important. If you are involved in legal issues related to your guardianship, you’ll want to understand how to best represent yourself. Obtaining legal representation to assist in a guardianship case can be extremely expensive.

We can help you on the path to organizing your thoughts, understanding what rights you have, and preparing to take the appropriate next steps.

Areas where we can assist you:

  • Custody laws in your state
  • Child support
  • Modification of existing custody arrangement

When determining rights of visitation for cases involving grandparents or close relatives, a preexisting relationship with the child is key. The courts will always defer to what the judge determines is in the best interest of the child, and a strong pre-existing relationship can help influence the final decision.  Because the courts presume that parents are acting in their child’s best interest, grandparents facing parental obstruction should expect to present significant evidence to establish the benefit of continued access to the child.

Married With Children

Under current California law, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the parents are still married unless a certain set of specific conditions are in place: parents living separately, parents whereabouts unknown for one month or more, adoption by stepparent, or children reside outside the home of either parent.  A grandparent can also petition for visitation rights as a joint petition with one of the child’s parents.