In the vast majority of cases, the court has a policy of non-interference and respects the rights of parents to decide which family members they allow to see their children. Notwithstanding this, there are rare circumstances where the court may intervene through laws which protect grandparent’s rights and allow for grandparent visitation against the wishes of the children’s legal parents or guardians.

Ideally, grandparents have a positive relationship with the parents of their grandchildren and this allows them to see their grandchildren without intervention from the family court system. However, in some cases, the relationship between the grandparents and the legal parents of children breaks down and the parents do not allow for the grandparents to continue with regular contact and visitation they previously enjoyed. In some of these cases, the grandparents are able to demand their rights reasonable visitation through the family court system.

In order for this to happen, there must be a preexisting relationship that has created a bond between grandparent and grandchild. This means that when there is no preexisting relationship (such as grandparent who has been estranged from the parents as long as the child has been alive) will not be able to claim rights to visitation. The Court must also find that granting visitation rights to the grandparent is within the child’s best interests.

In some families, grandparents find themselves raising their grandchildren when the child’s parents are absent or unavailable. For example, the child’s biological parent(s) may be dealing with drug addiction. Grandparents in this circumstance should consult an attorney about establishing legal guardianship.

Our firm is prepared and experienced to help grandparents in any of these situations.

Do you have a divorce or family law question?

Call our office today. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation. Call 949-889-1227 to learn more.

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