Do grandparents have rights in California? That depends on whether the parents are married. If the parents are still married they must be living apart, or one of the parents must have been absent from the child’s life for thirty (30) days and his or her whereabouts are unknown or one of the parents joins in the grandparent petition for visitation. Pursuant to California Family Code Section 3103, “The court may grant reasonable visitation to a grandparent of a minor child of a party to the proceeding if the court determines that visitation by the grandparents is in the best interest of the child”.
The grandparent needs to notify the parents, stepparent, or any person who has physical custody that he or she is filing a Petition for visitation. The notification needs to be by certified mail, return receipt requested with postage prepaid, to the last known address or to any attorney of record.
A rebuttable presumption exists that affects the burden of proof that grandparent visitation is not in the children’s best interest, if the child’s parents are in agreement that the grandparent should not have visitation with the children.
The court could grant reasonable visitation to a grandparent if the court does both of the following:
- Finds that there is a preexisting relationship between child and grandparent that has produced a bond to the point that visitation would be in the child’s best interests and
- The court balances the interests of the child having visitation with a grandparent with that of the parents right to exercise their parental authority and decide with whom the child will visit.
For further information about grandparents rights or to file a petition for grandparents rights contact the grandparents rights lawyers of Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000. Call today for a free 60- minute consultation.