When a married couple decides that it’s time to pursue a divorce and there are children of that marriage, the situation can unfortunately devolve into a nasty fight over the custody and visitation rights with regards to those children. When this situation arises, it can lead to years of fighting and antagonism. In addition, these child custody battles often overlook other extremely important people in the lives of the children – the grandparents.
Below you will find a brief introduction and overview to the issues surrounding grandparent rights and privileges with regards to California law. You will also find information regarding how grandparents can go about exercising those rights. If you or someone you love is in this difficult position, you need to obtain the help of experienced San Diego divorce lawyers as soon as possible.
In general, when parents complete a divorce in California, most orders that dissolve these marriages will not include a formal schedule for grandparent visitation. Usually, the parents will make sure that the grandparents get to see the children when they have custody or during their own visitation, but this is not always how the situation plays out.
Therefore, when grandparents are being denied the right to see their grandchildren, they can petition the court for visitation rights. When this petition is offered to the court, it will be considered based on many of the same tenets that are used when deciding on child custody. Specifically, if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child or children to maintain a relationship with the grandparents, it could approve the petition and order visitation.
However, this right for grandparents only extends so far. For example, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled that a parent’s proposed visitation schedule is presumed to be the better choice than a grandparent’s proposed visitation schedule if the two conflict. Therefore, if grandparents are going to petition the court simply because they want a visitation schedule changed, they would likely need to prove that it was completely unreasonable and basically prevented them from seeing the child or children.
When these situations arise where grandparents need to go as far as petitioning the court in order to see their grandchildren, the results can be difficult to manage considering the likely presence of negativity between the parties. Therefore, grandparents in this position need to be able to clearly understand their legal rights before moving forward with this process.
If you find yourself in this difficult position, you need to seek the help of San Diego divorce lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of clients successfully for many years. Contact the law office of Scott & Matteson Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.
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