grandparent visitation

Do Grandparents Have Any Custody or Visitation Rights in California?

Divorce or legal separation can be an emotionally challenging time for the whole family, even leading to the severing of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. However, grandparents’ rights have become an increasingly important issue in the United States, and in this blog, we will examine this matter in more detail, exploring whether grandparents have any custody or visitation rights in California.

Grandparents Rights in California

In California, grandparents do not have an automatic right to visitation or custody of their grandchildren. The primary concern of the court is always the well-being of the child involved. That is why, before grandparents can receive any custody or visitation, they must provide evidence to support their claim that the child will be negatively impacted without their relationship. 

Courts will usually evaluate several factors to determine what rights a grandparent has, including the following: 

  • A child’s age
  • The relationship between a child and the grandparents
  • A child’s relationship with their parents or other legal guardians. 

Visitation Rights

Generally, the parents of a child have the authority to decide whether or not they want their child to visit or see their grandparents. If the parents are separated, each parent can allow the child to see their grandparents during their allotted time with the child. However, if there are any concerns regarding the safety of the child, a judge may restrict the grandparents’ access to the child.

In certain cases, grandparents can ask a judge to order visitation. For instance, if the child’s parents are unmarried or married but live apart, the grandparent can file legal documents to ask for visitation rights. However, if the child’s parents are married and live together with the child, the grandparents cannot request visitation through the court system. In such cases, the parents usually have the final say on whether their child can visit their grandparents.

Situations That Can Impact a Grandparents’ Rights

The rights of grandparents can be impacted by various situations, such as the death of one parent, an adoption, or the parents of the child being unmarried. These circumstances may result in limited or terminated rights for grandparents. For example, if a child is adopted by another family, the grandparents would lose their right to visit or seek custody of the child. In addition, if the parents of the child are not married, the grandparents may have to take additional legal steps to establish their rights. 

Furthermore, the laws and regulations regarding grandparents’ rights can differ depending on the county in California. The courts have some discretion in interpreting the law, so before taking any action, individuals should consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure they understand the specific laws in the area.

Can a Grandparent Take a Child Away in California?

Grandparents do not have the legal authority to take a child away from their parents in California. The custody of a child is determined based on the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as their health, safety, and well-being. However, if the parents are deemed unfit or incapable of caring for their child, the court may grant custody to the grandparents after considering all the relevant circumstances. 

Learn More About Grandparents Rights, Contact Herrera Clifton Hess Today 

At Herrera Clifton Hess, our experienced family law attorneys have a reputation for providing quality legal representation. This means that when it comes to child support, divorce, child custody, mediation, or any other family issues, our legal team has your best interests at heart and is ready to fight hard to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. 

If you need additional information about a grandparent’s rights in California or want to review a custody issue, contact Herrera Clifton Hess today and speak with our team.