Grandparents Rights Lawyers Ventura, California
Parents have the right to decide whether to let grandparents visit with children. For countless reasons, some parents decide to stop letting their children visit with grandparents. State law in California in these situations lets grandparents request reasonable visitation from the courts to see the grandchildren. In these cases, certain elements must be satisfied before the grandparent can visit the grandchild.
The Rights of Grandparents in California
In accordance with California law, in situations where a child’s parents are no longer together or one parent is deceased, grandparents are able to file a petition in court so the grandparent can visit with the child. Before it can grant a grandparent’s request, courts must:
- Determine that a relationship exists between the grandparent and grandchild and that a bond between the two has been “engendered”. Consequently, ordering visits would be acceptable because this connection would be in the child’s best interestto keep.
- Balance the child’s best interest in visiting the grandparent against the parent’s rights to protect the child’s well-being.
The right of natural parents to make decisions regarding the raising of children is critical but not an absolute one. Children everywhere and of all backgrounds have the right to enjoy a healthy and stable relationship with an individual who has functioned in a substantial and court-approved parental role.
The presumption that grandparent visitations should not be allowed if both parents agree on it presides over all grandparents’ rights cases. As a result, in grandparents’ rights cases, the grandparent then has the burden of establishing to the court that visitation is in the child’s best interests.
When deciding whether visitation is in a child’s best interests, courts consider a range of factors, which include:
- The child’s well-being including their mental health and safety
- Any history of domestic abuse by the person seeking visitation rights
- The use of medications by anyone seeking custody or visitation
- The frequency of contact between the child and the person seeking visitation
In most cases, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights if the child’s parents are married. Some exceptions exist, which include:
- The child does not reside with either parent
- The child has been adopted by a stepparent
- The parents live separately and apart on an indefinite or permanent basis
- One of the parents is incarcerated or institutionalized against their will
- One of the parent’s locations has been unknown for at least the last month
- One of the parents joins the grandparent’s visitation petition
If a grandparent has secured court-order visitation in one of the previous examples and situations change to such a degree that none of these conditions apply, one or both parents can then request that the court terminate grandparent visitation.
Grandparent’s Rights Lawyers for Visitation Issues
After courts grant grandparent visitation, judges sometimes also order that a parent or grandparent pay child support for a limited duration for a specific purpose including medical costs or transportation.
Grandparents who are interested in requesting visitation from a court can file a “petition”. While some county-wide forms exist to fulfill the role of these petitions, no current state-wide California petition form exists. Fortunately, a knowledgeable family law attorney can help grandparents who want to pursue visitation rights draft a family law declaration that will commence the process of pursuing visitation rights.
In cases where an existing family law case exists between the child’s parents like a divorce or separation, a grandparent can sometimes ask for visitation as part of the ongoing case. If no existing family law case exists involving the grandchild or the child’s parents, the grandparent will need to file a petition in family law court and begin the matter from scratch.
If no preexisting family law case exists, California law requires that grandparents have the petition regarding visitation served on the parents (or stepparents, or anyone who has physical custody of the child). If a petition was filed as part of an existing family law case, the parents (or another applicable individual) might be served with the petition by certified mail.
It’s often best for families to resolve matters outside of court. Mediation between the grandparents and the child’s parents is one method to openly and safely discuss the issues and concerns of everyone involved in trying to reach an agreement that is in the child’s best interest without sacrificing the bond between the grandparent and the child’s parents.
How Family Law Attorney can Help
Our lawyers have substantial experience both inside and outside of court. This experience lets our attorneys routinely deliver the best possible results to the families including grandparents that we represent. When we take on grandparent’s rights cases, we routinely focus on finding creative solutions to each family’s situation. We use all of the facts available to make sure that grandparents can present as strong a case as possible when arguing or visitation rights.
If you are a grandparent who is raising your grandchildren because the parents are either not present or not able to care for their children, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. Remember, when a non-parent pursues custody of a child, it is referred to as guardianship and a distinct court process specific to guardianship must be followed.
At Land Legal Group, our family law firm in Ventura, CA also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Child Custody
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Fathers Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Spousal Support
- Children’s Law
- Child Support
- Dependency Law
Contact our Ventura Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys Today For a Free Consultation
Grandparents pursuing court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren as well as parents seeking to prevent non-qualifying grandparents from obtaining orders can both benefit from the assistance of an experienced Ventura family law attorney. At Land Legal Group, our lawyers focus on helping our clients navigate even the toughest family law cases. Our lawyers have been involved in countless grandparent’s rights cases in Ventura as well as the surrounding area. Contact Land Legal Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.