CAN GRANDPARENTS SEEK VISITATION RIGHTS?
Grandparents throughout the country often find that family troubles or difficult circumstances separate them from grandchildren they love, which can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, under California law, there are provisions that allow grandparents to seek official visitation privileges from a court.
To qualify for court-ordered visitation privileges, several standards must be met. First, a court will look at the existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparent. The court wants to see some pre-existing bond between the two parties that may suggest that granting visitation privileges to the grandparents is actually in the best interests of the child.
The court also looks at the reasons for the separation between the grandparents and the child, to decide if granting visitation privileges threatens the autonomy of the parents to make parenting decisions. In some cases, the court is not eager to grant grandparents visitation rights simply because it can.
The court does maintain the power to grant visitation privileges. However, obtaining those privileges through a court when neither of child’s parents is eager to give them might prove counter productive. In many cases, these kinds of family conflicts are best navigated with the guidance of a professional mediator.
A professional family law mediator can help all parties come to the table and seek a fair, reasonable resolution to any family conflict, ensuring that each side is heard and respected. If you want to seek time with the grandchild you love, you should consider consulting with an experienced mediator to help you determine a clear path to maintaining and enriching your relationship with the grandchild you love.
Source: California Courts: The Judicial Branch of California, “Visitation Rights of Grandparents,” accessed May 30, 2017