San Jose Family Law Attorney Discusses Grandparent Visitation
Are you a grandparent, and you don’t see your grandkids? Sadly, this happens all too often. Whether its because a parent dies, or the parents have divorced or separated, unfortunately, many grandparents end up not having any relationship with their grandchildren. Here in California, the law does offer you some protection and assistance. If you would like to speak with a San Jose Family Law Attorney about your rights, please call Sagaria Law today at 408.279.2288.
The California Family Code provides that a grandparent may petition the Court for visitation under the following circumstances:
• A parent is deceased. (Family Code 3102)
• A dissolution or other family law proceeding is pending in which child custody is already at issue. (Family Code 3103)
• The parents are not married to one another, including after a divorce. (Family Code 3104(b))
• The parents are married but are living separate and apart on a permanent or indefinite basis. (Family Code 3104(b))
All court ordered visitation is dependent on a finding of the court that visitation is in the child or children’s best interests.
Grandparents petitioning under Section 3103 should be aware that visitation awarded pursuant to this section ends when a judgment dissolving the marriage and awarding child custody is entered. Afterwards, grandparent visitation is governed by Section 3104.
Section 3104 requires the Court find that there is a preexisting bond between the child and the grandparent, and the visitation is in the child’s best interests. The Court must also balance the child’s interest in visitation against the parent’s right to exercise parental authority.
You may be wondering what about parental unfitness. What if my grandchild’s parent is a danger to the child? Or unfit to be a parent? Guardianship proceedings may be appropriate in that instance, or if the child is in danger, juvenile dependency. Generally, parental unfitness is not a significant issue in grandparent visitation, although it can come up.
If you are interested in obtaining visitation with your grandchild(ren), call our office today to set up your free consultation with an experienced San Jose Family Law Attorney. Our attorneys have experience in all types of family law cases, including child custody and divorce matters, as well as grandparent visitation, guardianship and dependency. We offer a free consultation in any of our five Bay Area offices, including Salinas, San Jose, Fremont, Monterey and Redwood City. You can also arrange for your consultation to be via phone if coming in to the office is inconvenient for you. Call today 408.279.2288 to schedule your free appointment.