Grandparents Rights Attorney
We know that as a grandparent, your desire to love, treasure, and spoil your grandchildren should never be trampled on by the law. Unfortunately, when divorce or legal separation tears apart two families, the law is exactly what could prevent you from bonding with your little loved ones. This is especially true if you are not on good terms with your son- or daughter-in-law or your own child. Yet often even if the child’s parent holds a personal grudge against their grandparent, it is still in the child’s best interest to maintain a bond with their grandma or grandpa. It can foster a healthy support system and encourage behavioral and emotional growth and resilience. Thus, we will fight tirelessly to advocate for your rights, even in the face of strong opposition. Below we provide general information that should not be used as personal legal advice. Rather, if you wish to have your questions answered according to your specific situation, call us today for a free consultation.
Unfortunately, grandparents do not have automatic visitation rights with their grandchildren in California. Grandparents only have the right to request to see their grandchildren, and must go through a formal process of applying for visitation rights. And then, the judge must rule in your favor – you are not guaranteed rights by the court.
Most often, you can request visitation during a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. If the parents are still married, you cannot typically apply for grandparent’s rights. However, if the parents are not living together, one’s location are not known, the grandchild has been adopted, or one of the child’s parents supports your request, you can also apply for visitation rights.
You do not always have to go through the court to get visitation rights. Sometimes, you can request them directly from the parents and ask them to participate in a mediation session where you can discuss possible arrangements. This could have a few benefits. First, it allows you explain the reasoning behind your actions and resolve any differences that could harm your relationship with your grandchild. Also, it tends to be a less expensive route. Attaining grandparent’s rights through mediation can also be less confusing and end in better results than going through the California courts. One of our mediation attorneys will preside over the session, mitigating conflicts, keeping the conversation diplomatic and respectful, and ensuring that your voice is heard. We understand, however, that in highly conflictual circumstances, this is not always possible. Thus, we are prepared to guide you through the process of filing for these rights.
Filing for visitation rights for grandparents can be confusing, and there are different paths you must follow depending on different factors. For instance, if there is a current family law case open involving your grandchild (child support, restraining order, divorce, etc.), you can request visitation rights as part of those main proceedings. However, if there is no current case open, you must open one yourself. There is no specific form you fill out to open a case specifically for grandparent’s rights in California. However, depending on the county you live in, there may be local forms you will be required to fill out. It is best to contact one of our law firms closest to you for a free consultation and speak with an attorney who specializes in grandparent’s rights to see the exact process you must go through. We will then walk you through filling out the other forms.
The forms that you must fill out once a family law case is open will request that you explain your pre-existing relationship with your grandchild and why it would benefit them to keep that relationship with you. This is where hiring an expert attorney really matters, since the judge’s decision will be based on how well this petition is written, what factors stand out in your relationship, how persuasive your plea is, and whether or not you reviewed it carefully for errors. We will help you do all of this. Throughout our years of successfully seeing grandparent’s through this process, we have learned the tricks of the trade and know exactly what will stand out to judges across California. Making an error on these forms could mean losing your chance to see your grandson or granddaughter, and we do not want that to happen to you.
Many grandparents face harsh resistance from the child’s parents, and worry that this will sway the judge and keep them from seeing their grand baby. However, in order to gain visitation rights, you must first and foremost prove that you and your grandchild already have a bond and that severing that bond would be detrimental to the child. If you can show the judge why the child would benefit from your relationship, you can win the battle. Thus, we are prepared to analyze your relationship and highlight all the details of what makes it valuable and beneficial to the child, even if the parents fight against your petition. Through persuasive rhetoric and passionate representation, we will argue zealously to help you continue to love your grandson or granddaughter. Even if the child’s parents are against you, a skilled family law attorney can convince the judge to overrule the parent’s wishes in the child’s best interest.