San Bernardino Grandparent Rights Attorney
The Importance of Grandparents in the Lives of Their Grandchildren
In many scenarios, grandparents are a major part of a child’s upbringing. They can play a multitude of roles in a child’s life, including caretaker, friend, and system of support. Many children happily look forward to spending time with their grandparents and creating lovely memories that they will carry with them throughout their adult lives. Sadly, when people choose to get a divorce, grandparents can find themselves in peril of losing contact with their grandchildren. Mercifully, the California family code provides protections for grandparents who want to make certain that they will have the ability to maintain contact with their grandkids in the wake of the split up.
In What Scenarios Do Grandparents Have the Right to See Their Grandchildren?
In the state of California, grandparents are not begrudged the right to be seen by and spend time with their grandchildren. For the most part, these rights exist when the parents of a grandchild decide to separate or dissolve their marriage. Nevertheless, grandparents could have the ability to assert their legal right to visitation if:
- The parents of the child are not able to be located;
- The parents no longer hold physical custody of their child;
- One or both of the parents of the child are incarcerated;
- The grandchild gets adopted by a step-parent;
- Parents are found to be unfit to retain custody of the child; or
- A parent works together with the grandparent in filing an application for visitation.
How Are Grandparents Able to Assert Their Rights?
Grandparents in California state have the right to petition a court for a reasonable visitation arrangement with their grandchild. When the court is in receipt of this petition, they will hand down a determination that is in the best interests of the grandchild. Primarily, two factors exist that can give the San Bernardino family court judge enough information to make a good determination as to whether a grandparent’s petition for visitation should be granted.
- The judge will first search for a pre-existing bond between grandparent and grandchild. The courts will be more willing to give their blessing to a grandparent’s request for visitation when there is evidence that there is a strong relationship between the grandparent and grandchild. In arriving at this determination, a judge can request witness statements and testimony, look at photographs and video footage, and even speak with the child or children themselves.
- A judge will then compare the pros and cons of approving the grandparent’s request and likely superseding a parent’s ability to make choices about their own child. The reality is that a grandparent normally wouldn’t have any need to file a legal request to see their grandchildren if the parents are in agreement. A court might hesitate to override a parent’s decision unless they are presented with significant evidence to support the grandparent’s cause.
A Grandparent Rights Petition with the Support of a Parent
A grandparent’s petition has a greater potential to be successful if it is supported by one of the child’s parents. In a situation in which Fay and Bob get a divorce. In the divorce, each parent gets awarded joint physical custody of their six-year-old daughter, Melissa. Since Melissa was born, Fay’s mother has built a genuine and deep connection with Melissa, and she would like to continue to see her grandchild on a regular basis. Bob informs the court that he has no interest in keeping his daughter in contact with her grandmother. Melissa’s grandmother has a legal right to file a petition with the court, supported by her daughter Fay, to ask for visitation rights. The fact that Fay is on the petition as a collaborator will help to support her mother’s request.
Grandparents Could Have their Rights Upheld in Mediation
Mediation is an excellent conflict resolution method that is much less expensive and less time-consuming than heading to court. The mediation option also furnishes a safe space for grandparents and the parents of the child’s to talk through their issues and arrive at a mutually-agreeable compromise. Working through things in mediation can help to nurture positive emotions and keep children from being exposed first hand to a nasty legal dispute. If you are thinking about asserting your rights as a grandparent, but you really want to avoid the time and expense of court, reach out to a Certified Family Law Specialist. Your attorney can review your matter, explain the whole mediation process to you, and answer any questions you might have.
Have the parents of your grandchild recently undergone a separation or marriage dissolution? Are you of the belief that your grandchild’s parents might need to be legally declared unfit to maintain custody? Are you worried that a new step-parent may try to rob you of time you get to spend with your grandchild? Get a consultation with a family law attorney who has experience in grandparent rights to learn more about your legal rights as a grandparent. When you are a grandparent, you do have a legal right to see and visit your grandchild. You are at liberty to assert this right in the form of a formal court petition that you can file, or you can assert it by seeking an amicable resolution through the mediation process. Regardless of which avenue you would like to pursue, our experienced attorneys can assist you.
The connection between a child and grandparent can be rather special and valuable. A knowledgeable Certified Family Law Specialist will fight to keep your relationship with your grandchild intact. When you enlist the services of a San Bernardino family law attorney, he or she can put together a custom legal argument that is created for the purpose of securing legal visitation arrangements with your grandchild. Your seasoned lawyer should be able to anticipate the arguments that a resistant parent would make and be prepared to defend against any claims they could make. The right attorney can assist you in protecting the relationship you have with your grandchildren.