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Riverside Grandparent Rights Attorney

July 22, 2020

Grandparents Play an Important Role in the Lives of Their Grandchildren

In numerous scenarios, grandparents are a major part of a child’s rearing. They can serve in a multitude of roles in a child’s life.  They can be the child’s babysitter, buddy, and source of emotional support. Often, children happily anticipate the time they get to spend with their grandparents.  Those precious times are spent making lovely memories that they will hold in their hearts throughout their lives. When things change people choose to get a divorce, grandparents sometimes find themselves at risk of being disconnected from their grandchildren. Thankfully, the California family courts can help grandparents protect their ability to have continued contact with their grandkids in the wake of the dissolution of the parents’ marriage..

Under What Conditions Do Grandparents Retain the Right to See Their Grandchildren?

In the Golden State, grandparents are almost never begrudged the right to be contacted by and spend time with their grandchildren. In large part, these rights may need to be upheld when the parents of a grandchild choose to separate from each other or get a divorce. Even when this happens, grandparents may very well have the ability to assert their legal right to visitation if:

  • The parents of the grandchild are not able to be located;
  • The parents don’t have physical custody of their child anymore;
  • One or both of the parents of the child are behind bars;
  • The grandchild is adopted by a step-parent;
  • Parents are determined to be unfit to keep custody of the child; or
  • A parent comes together with the grandparent to support the filing of an application for visitation.

How Do Grandparents Have the Ability to Assert Their Rights?

In California, grandparents have the legal right to petition a court for an acceptable visitation arrangement with their grandchild. When the court is in receipt of the grandparent’s petition, they will return a determination that was made on the basis of the best interests of the grandchild. Two primary factors exist that can afford the Riverside family court judge enough information to make a sound decision as to whether a grandparent’s petition for visitation should be granted.

  1. The judge will be on the lookout for a pre-existing bond between grandparent and grandchild. The courts will be more open to granting visitation rights to a grandparent’s request for visitation when the evidence is clear that there is a strong bond between the grandparent and grandchild. In coming to this decision, a judge can ask for witness statements and testimony, review family photographs and video footage, and even question the child or children themselves.
  2. A judge will then weigh the pros and cons of granting the grandparent their request and, in the process, abrogating a parent’s authority to make choices about their own kid. The truth is that a grandparent normally wouldn’t need to approach the court with a legal filing to see their grandchildren if the parents are in agreement with them. A judge might hesitate to overrule a parent’s decision unless they are shown significant proof to support the grandparent’s cause.

A Grandparent Rights Petition with the Support of a Parent

A grandparent’s petition has a much better chance of being granted if it is supported by one of the child’s parents. In a situation in which Sheena and Rick get a divorce. In the divorce, each parent is awarded joint physical custody of their seven-year-old son, Rahim. Since Rahim was born, Sheena’s mother has formed a genuine and deep bond with Rahim, and she would like to continue to see her grandson on a regular basis. Rick informs the court that he has no interest in maintaining any connection between his son and Sheena’s mother. Rahim’s grandmother has a legal right to bring a petition before the court, supported by her daughter Sheena, to ask for visitation rights. The fact that Sheena is on the petition also will help to support her mother’s request.

Grandparents Could Have their Rights Upheld in Mediation

Mediation is a superior dispute resolution method that is much less costly and more expeditious than heading to court. The mediation route also creates a safe space for grandparents and the parents of the child’s to talk out their issues and arrive at a mutually-agreeable accord. Working through issues in mediation can help to nurture positive sentiments and stop children from being exposed first hand to an ugly legal dispute. If you are pondering the option of asserting your rights as a grandparent, but you really want to sidestep the time and expense of court, get in touch with a Certified Family Law Specialist. Your attorney can review your situation, explain the whole mediation process to you, and handle any questions you might need answered.

Riverside Family Law Attorneys

Have the parents of your grandchild recently been through a separation or divorce proceeding? Do you think it’s possible that your grandchild’s parents might need to be declared legally unfit to retain custody? Are you concerned that a new step-parent may attempt to rob you of time you get to be with your grandchild? Set up a consultation with a family law attorney who has dealt with grandparent rights cases in the past to learn more about your legal rights as a grandparent. When you are a grandparent, you do indeed have a legal right to see and visit your grandchild. Grandparents are at liberty to assert this right in the form of a legal petition that you can file with the court.  Alternatively, you can assert your right by seeking an amicable settlement through the mediation process. Regardless of which road you would like to take, our team of seasoned attorneys can assist you.

The bond between a child and grandparent can be so special and valuable.  A well informed Certified Family Law Specialist will battle to preserve your relationship with your grandchild. When you get a Riverside family law attorney to take on your case, he or she can put together a legal argument that is custom crafted for the purpose of locking down a legal visitation arrangement for you to see your grandchild consistently. The right lawyer for your matter should be able to anticipate the arguments that whichever parent is objecting might bring and be prepared to defend against anything they might say about you. The right attorney can help you to protect the relationship you cherish with your grandchildren.



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