Grandparents share a precious and important relationship with their grandchildren. In many cases, grandparents not only provide love but also emotional and financial support that their grandchildren depend on.
During a divorce, the process can overlook grandparents’ rights. If your child’s divorce resulted in estrangement from your grandchildren, you can remedy that by petitioning the court for formal visitation rights.
Are there requirements for filing for visitation?
The state of California will grant visitation to biological and adoptive grandparents, as long as they find that the visitation order is in the best interest of the child.
Before filing, the grandparent should be able to prove that:
- The pre-existing relationship with their grandchild was substantial and positive and has “engendered a bond”
- The children’s parents’ rights to make decisions for their children are in balance with the grandparents’ rights to a relationship
What if the parents are still legally married?
Generally, grandparental visitation is only granted in cases of divorce. The court will consider petitions in some other distinct situations:
- The parents are living separately
- A parent’s whereabouts have been unknown for at least a month
- One of the parents endorses the grandparent’s petition for visitation
- The child does not live with either of his or her parents
- A stepparent has adopted the grandchild
Grandparents are an important part of a grandchildren’s village, and their relationship should receive support and protection. Petitioning the court for formal visitation can provide assurance to both you and your grandchild can continue your relationship despite the divorce.