Grandparent’s Custody Rights
When we usually think about child custody and visitation, we typically think of the child’s parent. However, this is not always the case. Grandparents can also have rights regarding the visitation and custody of the grandchild. Deep and loving attachments with children often come from grandparents, stepparents and family members. If some unexpected event happens in the lives of a family where death, divorce or estrangement happens, sometimes these caretakers may find themselves without any legal right to keep contact with the child with whom they have formed a strong bond.
California has laws regarding the custody rights of grandparents. Some examples of custody rights of grandparents may be applied when a parent or both parents die, or in cases of divorce or separation. Also, if a grandparent or great grandparent has had the child living with them for a certain period of time, then custody rights may also apply. In order for a grandparent to seek custody of a grandchild, they must petition the family law court to request partial or full custody of the child or visitation rights.
The two types of child custody that can apply are legal and physical. Legal custody determines who will make the major decisions that will sculpt a child’s life, such as health care, religion, and education to name a few. Physical custody involves who the child will spend their time with and where the child will live.
Sometimes grandparents may face parental resistance regarding their contact with their grandchildren. If a grandparent finds themselves in this situation, he/she might consider requesting a mediation session with the children’s parents. Some state courts won’t consider your petition for visitation until the parties have attended a mediation together. Mediation is when a neutral third party helps all of the parties involved create a legally binding agreement that is satisfactory to everyone involved.
Contact our custody & visitation rights attorney to help you understand your rights as a grandparent. Our firm will help you fight to get you the best possible outcome. We will work hard to make the legal system clear for you so you have less stress and can focus on what is important.