The Basics of Current California Grandparents Custody Rights.

For a very long time, grandparents did not have automatic or specific legal rights to either custody or visitation of their grandchildren. Usually, visitation (or custody) was under full control of the child’s parents.

However, today’s society is shifting, and many families depend on grandparents to care for their children because many families need two incomes or other factors.

Most families today recognize the essential and supportive role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. Many states now realize and understand the value of maintaining this grandparent/grandchild bond, even when the child’s parents oppose this relationship.

However, in California, granting visitation or custody rights to a child’s grandparents is not an “automatic” process and commonly requires a formal request to the court.

When requesting custody (or visitation), it’s always best if your experienced Fresno grandparent’s rights lawyer shows a positive and pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and grandchild, a relationship that shows and proves that custody or visitation by the grandparents is in the child’s best interest.

Of course, every case differs, but the process for grandparents seeking child custody in California varies with the current familial situation, such as whether there is an ongoing case against the child’s parents, what that case may be about, etc.

The facts in the case often determine how you, as the grandparent, should petition the court.

The grandparents can seek custody or visitation if the child’s parents have a pending family law case, such as a divorce or paternity petition.

If the child’s grandparents have a preexisting relationship with the child, they can effectively join the existing case and seek custody or visitation rights.

If no existing family law case is pending, the grandparents must initiate a new case by petitioning the court.

Your skilled lawyer will explain that whatever the situation, the child’s best interests are always considered above all else, including the rights of the child’s parents.

A Preexisting Grandparent/Grandchild Relationship is Important, But How Can It Be Proven?

If you, as the grandparent, are seeking custody (or “guardianship”)of your grandchild, it is vital to prove to the court that you have a positive and ongoing relationship with your grandchild; however, it is sometimes difficult to do so successfully.

However, your knowledgeable and thorough grandparents’ rights lawyer has been through many of these cases before and knows it can be done in the following ways:

  • Showing you are deeply involved in the child’s life and upbringing – Let’s say you regularly attended school functions, took the child to the doctor, or extracurricular activities, and more. Your lawyer will prove that you were a constant and positive presence in the child’s life and committed to their well-being.
  • You provide significant emotional support during challenging times in the child’s life – During problems at home, possibly a divorce, or other adverse situations, you provide your grandchild with positive and significant emotional support. Your ability to comfort and reassure your grandchild is critical to proving you have a needed and positive effect on your grandchild’s emotional well-being.
  • You provided financial and other practical support – You offered financial support for childcare, clothing, medical care, educational expenses, etc. This tangible financial help proves you are committed to your child’s well-being and development.

Admittedly, the above are only a few ways you and your empathetic and well-versed grandparents can prove your solid relationship and overall commitment to your grandchild’s life.

Does California Law Support Grandparents If They Want Permanent Custody of Their Grandchild?

California law allows a grandparent to petition for permanent custody of a grandchild. The grandparent is typically required to prove that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are currently in danger due to the abuse or neglect of one or more parents.

The danger to the child could be due to a parent’s drug addiction, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, or other compelling reasons for which an immediate remedy is needed. In such cases, the court can terminate parental rights and award custody to a grandparent.

A California family court must see compelling evidence that your grandchild would be best served by visitation or custody provided to a grandparent. Courts tend to default on protecting parental rights, and if one of your grandchild’s parents refuses to let you see them, you must prove this is the wrong decision. If you are a grandparent and believe your grandchildren are not adequately cared for, consult an experienced Fresno grandparent rights lawyer immediately.

The well-being of your grandchild is far too important to leave solely up to the courts. Therefore, in these cases, the help of an experienced grandparents’ rights law team is mandatory if you wish to achieve the best result possible.

What Other Factors Will The California Court Consider When Deciding Grandparent Custody of their Grandchild>

You and your thorough grandparents’ rights lawyer may use myriad facts to prove to the court that you (as the grandparent) would be best suited to have custody of your grandchildren.

Just a few of these factors may include;

  • Of course, the overall relationship between the child and their grandparents.
  • What detailed and specific circumstances motivate the grandparents’ rights to seek custody?
  • What precisely are the factors that parents deny to their grandparents?
  • Importantly, how will the grandparents having custody impact and benefit the grandchild?
  • If one or more parents are deceased, are the grandparents best suited for their grandchild’s custody?

It must be noted that although California law grants grandparents’ legal means to obtain custody of their grandchild), under most circumstances, this may be legally challenging.

It’s relatively easy to prove their case if either parent has died or divorced, but other circumstances, such as an unsafe or abusive home environment, are much more difficult.

Therefore, the challenging laws surrounding grandparents’ custody are the main reason to have an experienced, thorough, and knowledgeable grandparents’ rights lawyer manage your case and prove, most assuredly, that this decision is in the child’s best interest.

As a Grandparent, I’m Considering Filing for Custody of My Grandchild; How Should I Proceed?

Although child custody by grandparents is legal under California law, establishing full (or even partial) custody rights is usually a problematic and challenging legal journey, even if the parents of the child are proven to be unfit.

Therefore, if you’re a grandparent and feel you must act as a parent for your grandchild or total or partial custody, you must obtain the professional help you need to succeed.

The Fresno-based grandparent’s rights lawyer at the Bains Law Office is sincerely passionate and committed to providing highly knowledgeable and fully experienced professional legal guidance to grandparents navigating this critical yet treacherous legal road.

Call them today for a full consultation on your case at 559-282-8924 and obtain the talented, helpful, and empathetic legal help you need to fully assert your grandparent’s legal rights to protect and care for your grandchild.