San Diego Grandparent Rights Attorney

San Diego Grandparent Rights Attorney

Grandparents often play an essential role in a child’s life. However, a divorce, death, or other situations may result in a parent cutting grandparents out of their grandchildren’s lives. When that occurs, children could suffer emotional harm.

For that reason, the San Diego grandparent visitation lawyers of San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, fight to protect the rights of grandparents seeking visitation with their grandchildren. We also represent grandparents who are seeing custody of their grandchildren because the parents are unfit.

If you have questions about grandparent visitation rights in California, contact our San Diego family law attorneys for legal advice and guidance. 

How Can a San Diego Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Help You?

How Can a San Diego Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Help You?

The issue of grandparent rights is complicated. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that grandparents do not automatically have the legal right to visitation with their grandchildren. 

Generally, parents have the right to decide who is involved in their children’s lives. Therefore, granting an absolute right to grandparent visitation would infringe on a parent’s rights. However, the court may step in to grant a grandparent visitation if it is in the child’s best interest.

When you hire our legal team, you can expect us to:

  • Explain California laws regarding grandparent custody and visitation
  • Review your case and provide an honest assessment of your legal options
  • Petition the court for visitation with your grandchildren 
  • Investigate the matter and gather evidence to build a strong case for court-ordered visitation

We understand that your top priority is the best interest of your grandchild. Call our law office to schedule a consultation with one of our San Diego family lawyers to discuss your situation. 

When Can a Grandparent Receive Visitation Rights?

California law permits a grandparent to petition for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. However, a judge must:

  • Find that the grandparent and grandchild had a pre-existing relationship that created a bond between them;
  • Find that visitation with the grandparent is in the best interests of the child; AND,
  • Balance the parents’ right to make decisions for their child with the best interest of the child to have visitation with a grandparent.

However, there are restrictions as to when a grandparent may petition the court for visitation rights. Not all situations give grandparents legal standing to pursue court action for visitation with a grandchild.

When Can a Grandparent Petition the Court for Visitation Rights?

Generally, if the parents are married, grandparents cannot ask the court for visitation rights. There are some exceptions to this rule. A grandparent may file for visitation rights when:

  • A child’s parents are legally separated
  • One of the parents has been involuntarily institutionalized
  • A parent’s whereabouts are unknown
  • The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent
  • One of the parents supports visitation with the grandparent
  • The child does not live with either parent
  • A parent is incarcerated

A parent can fight the petition by a grandparent for visitation. Cases are decided based on the facts and circumstances relevant to a specific case.

What Happens When a Grandparent Petitions for Visitation Rights?

The court encourages parties to enter mediation to negotiate a settlement for their dispute. With the help of a skilled family law attorney or professional mediator, the parties may negotiate a settlement that everyone can accept.

However, if the parents refuse to allow the grandparents to see their grandchild, the matter must be litigated. Litigation can be costly and lengthy. The parties may be required to undergo psychological evaluations. Experts may be necessary to testify about the child’s best interests and the relationship between the child and the grandparents. 

A significant factor in a grandparent visitation case is establishing a pre-existing relationship between you and your grandchild. You must provide the court with evidence that shows you and your grandchild have had a sufficient relationship to create a close bond. 

Evidence that you might use to prove a pre-existing relationship could include:

  • Videos of activities with your grandchildren and time spent together
  • Photographs of you and your grandchild
  • Receipts of purchases when you and your grandchild were together
  • Statements from eyewitnesses and other family members
  • Evaluations from a child psychologist or therapist
  • Statements from your grandchild
  • Communication between you and your grandchildren, including text messages, social media comments, emails, telephone records, letters, etc. 

The outcome of a grandparent visitation case is never guaranteed. However, hiring an experienced San Diego family law attorney is the best step-grandparents can take to obtain visitation rights. 

Contact a San Diego Grandparent Visitation Lawyer for More Information 

If you are being denied visitation with your grandchild, take action. Contact our law office to discuss your situation with our San Diego family law attorney. You may also reach out to us by visiting our contact page or through email.