How California differs when it comes to grandparents’ rights

By |2022-04-04T16:59:24+00:0020 Feb 2015|Categories: Family Law, Custody, Grandparent's Rights|

How California differs when it comes to grandparents’ rights

Over 40 years ago, visitation rights were granted only to the child’s parents. However, as family law evolved, many people recognized the significance of granting grandparents visitation rights to their grandchildren. Several studies also showed the potential benefits of grandparents’ involvement in a child’s life. For these reasons, every state, including California, developed a law that allows visitation rights to grandparents.

Families should be mindful of the different laws among the states that recognize the legal rights of grandparents to visit their grandchildren. Although there are states that have similar statutes on grandparents’ rights, the court may choose to apply certain provisions differently. These rights vary on a state-to-state basis, and from case to case. Nevertheless, the primary factor in awarding visitation rights to grandparents would be the best interests of the child. It is also the basis for awarding visitation rights to non-parents, such as other family members and foster parents.

In California, the conditions for establishing grandparents’ rights may include divorce or the parents’ separation, the present custody arrangement forthe child, the whereabouts of one parent and whether a parent is deceased. The court may also consider the current relationship of the grandparent to a grandchild when identifying the child’s best interest. Typically, the court balances this statutory visitation right with the rights of the parents.

The wishes and desire of both parents regarding visitation rights for grandparents may impact the court’s decision. For example, if both parents feel that the grandparents should not be allowed visitation, the court may rule that granting visitation is not beneficial for the child.

Source:, “Grandparents rights: State by State,” Accessed on Feb. 12, 2015

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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