In California, the purpose of granting grandparents visitation is to ensure that those who have cared for and been involved with their grandchildren maintain an ongoing relationship. Under California law, grandparents have the right to visit and interact with their grandchildren. A grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild.
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Under California law, grandparent visitation can be court ordered to allows a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild. To give a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild, the court has to:
- Find that there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild that has “engendered a bond.” This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in best interest of the grandchild; and,
- Balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.
No Grandparent Visitation if Parents are Married
In general, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the grandchild’s parents are married. But there are exceptions, such as:
- The parents are living separately;
- A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month);
- One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;
- The child does not live with either of his or her parents; or
- The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.
If you are a grandparent and you are raising your grandchildren either because the parents are absent or are unable to care for their children then, you would want to apply for grandparent visitation.
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