Grandparents should be able to love and cherish their grandchildren, even when divorce or separation threatens the bond they share. Preserving your relationship with your grandchild can be difficult and stressful, especially if your relationship with your son or daughter, or in-laws is not in the best condition. Grandparents do not have any legal rights over their grandchildren in the State of California, and thus must request them during or after the child’s parents divorce or separate. However, we believe that grandparents do deserve the right to maintain their bond with their grandchildren, as it greatly promotes the well-being of a child. Social support is crucial for a child’s development, and cutting them off from their grandparents who wish to encourage and care for them would only harm the child. Thus, our grandparent’s rights attorneys will fight vigorously to allow you to keep in contact with your grandchild, providing specific and innovative legal counsel throughout Orange County – from Fullerton to Tustin to San Clemente to Huntington Beach and all cities in between. We provide compassionate but fierce legal representation to fight for what we believe in – that grandparents should be able to spoil and love their grandchildren throughout their lives. Of course, we want you to receive the help best suited to you, so we provide free consultations so you can make your decision before paying anything.
Petitioning for grandparent’s rights isn’t easy, as you must soundly support your case before the judge in order to keep your relationship with your grandchild. Typically, grandparents request visitation rights during a divorce. However, they can also request them if the parents were never married, if they are being legally separated, or if the grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent, although each situation calls for different action steps. If the parents are still married, grandparents cannot usually request visitation rights. The easiest way a grandparent can gain the right to visit their grandchild is if one parent supports their petition. However, if the other parent does not wish for the request to be granted, you will still have to construct a compelling case. The main question that the judge will ask when reviewing your case is whether the relationship truly benefits the child. And that is where we come in. We will help you build a persuasive, detailed case that specifies how you will help the child grow and succeed in life. Even if the parents are pitted against you for personal reasons, all we need to prove to the judge is that it is in the child’s best interest to have you in their life. The exact steps you must take to file for grandparent’s rights in California are multifaceted and can be confusing. If there is already a case open within Orange County family courts involving the child and his or her parents, you will be required to fill out a detailed form tangential to that case. If there is not yet a case open, you must open one yourself. Our Orange County grandparent’s rights attorneys have gone through both processes numerous times and have seen the errors people tend to make. Through keen observation and meticulous review, we will ensure that every detail is filled out correctly before the judge receives any paperwork, which will help strengthen your case. After you have filed for your visitation rights, the work is only halfway done. We will then go through your relationship with your grandson or granddaughter and pinpoint the areas that prove how beneficial you are and would continue to be in their life. You must also let both the mother and father know that you are requesting visitation rights, which can be intimidating if you are not on good terms with one or both of them. We will be there to support you every step of the way, informing you of your rights and vigorously protecting them, as well as attempting to mitigate any arguments.
In some cases, one parent already has sole legal and/or physical custody of their son or daughter, and they have told you that you are no longer allowed to visit them. If you find yourself in this situation, do not be dismayed. While they do have the right to make decisions over their child, they do not have the right to make decisions over you. Ultimately, it is still up to the judge whether you would be able to see your grandson or granddaughter. And by giving us a call to begin crafting your convincing case today, you are already partway through the battle.
Sadly, some situations do not only call for visitation rights. Perhaps you are concerned for your grandchild and feel they are being abused or neglected by their biological or adoptive parents. If you feel that they need to be placed in your care or the care of a trusted individual, you can file for legal guardianship. This process differs from grandparent’s rights and must be handled with even greater sensitivity and care. If you find yourself in this situation, please give us a call right away so we can help you protect your loved ones.