What Are Grandparent's Rights in California?


Quick Answer

Grandparents in California can file for visitation rights if the child's parents are married but separated, one parent's whereabouts cannot be confirmed for over a month, or the child does not live with either parent. They may also file if the child has been adopted by a step-parent, reports About.com.

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Full Answer

Grandparents are permitted to file for visitation if one parent is deceased or the parents are not married. Those filing under the latter conditions have less likelihood to win, according to About.com. Visitation cases are buoyed by a demonstrable long-term involvement on the part of the grandparents in the child's life. Court proceedings are weighed based on a balance of the best interests of the child and the right of parents to make decisions regarding their offspring. Any change in the status of the parent can potentially reverse visitation rights, as stated by the California Judicial Branch.

Another potential opportunity for grandparents to obtain visitation rights is with the endorsement of the visitation petition by one of the parents, according to California Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch of California recommends settling issues of visitation outside of a court of law when possible and provides interested parties with lists of recommended mediators.

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