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Brandon Law Group
Specializing In Family Law Litigation And Mediation

Grandparents' rights to visitation with their grandchildren

When problems arise between the parents of California children, the issues related to their strife can affect relationships throughout the families. Most obviously the children can suffer when their parents struggle to remain civil. In addition, other relationships, such as those between the parents, the kids and their extended family members can also endure damage when marriages break down.

When parents separate or divorce it is common for them to create child custody plans that explain how their children will be raised and where their children will live as the parents separate their households from one into two. While one parent may secure the exclusive physical custody of their kids, the other may receive scheduled visitation time with them so that they may continue to build memories with their children. In other cases, the parents may elect to share custody of their kids so that each has a more balanced amount of time with their children.

What individuals may not know is that certain third parties may also have rights to visitation time with children when significant life events cause them to lose touch with the children they love. Particularly, grandparents can petition courts and may be able to establish visitation plans so that they can maintain their relationships with their grandkids after their parents pass away, divorce their spouses, become unreachable or otherwise disconnect themselves from their families and make contact between grandparents and grandchildren difficult.

In order for grandparents to pursue this right they generally must have preexisting relationships with their grandchildren. Also, if the parents of the grandchildren agree that visitation with the grandparents is not in the youths' best interests, then a court may elect to deny a grandparent's petition. However, when a grandparent's involvement in the life of their grandchild benefits the kid and supports their interests, then courts are able to promote these important relationships through grandparent visitation orders.

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