Orange County Grandparents' Rights Attorney
Experienced OC Family Law Attorneys
Because of increasing
divorce rates and other factors, there have been many changes to the relationship
between grandparents and their grandchildren. Despite these changes to
traditional family structures, many grandparents cherish these relationships
and seek to maintain them. Each state addresses issues of non-parental
visitation rights on their own terms, so the law differs from one state to the next.
Petition a California Court for Visitation Rights
California law allows a grandparent to petition a court for visitation
with a grandchild. In this action, as well as most other
family law actions taken by courts, the child's best interests are prioritized
in deciding visitation rights. The court takes other factors into account
as well when deciding.
A judge addresses two primary concerns when deciding a grandparent's
petition, and they include:
- Balance the interests of the child in grandparent visitation with the rights
- Finding a preexisting relationship that "engendered a bond."
Usually, if a child's parents are married, grandparents may not file
for visitation rights. This may depend on state laws and the living situation
of the parents and children. In California, there are some circumstances
that allow grandparents to file even if the parents are married.
The exceptions to grandparents filing for visitation while parents are
- A parent joins the petition.
- Parent whereabouts are unknown (for at least one month).
- The child does not live with either parent.
- The child has been adopted by a stepparent.
- The parents live separately.
The process of filing for visitation rights and obtaining them involves
filling out court forms and other court procedures. You may even have
to find out if a family court case involving your grandchild is already
open before proceeding. Retaining legal guidance from an experienced family
law legal team may help you toward a positive visitation solution.
Obtain Guardianship for Your Grandchild
In some situations, visitation rights are not enough to meet the needs
of a grandchild. If parents are absent or unable to care for the child,
grandparents may petition for guardianship in California. Guardianship
allows non-parents to have custody of a child and even manage the child's
property. When parents are unable to guide a child and safeguard their
future opportunities, grandparents may use guardianship to assume parental
responsibilities. Our Orange County divorce lawyer has
30 years of experience. You want effective legal representation when you are working to protect
the best interests of your grandchild.
Contact The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague today and schedule a
free case evaluation!