San Diego County Attorney Advocates for Grandparents’ Rights: when the relationship is in the children’s best interests

When deciding custody and visitation issues, the Court’s main consideration is what is in the children’s best interests. California law recognizes that allowing visitation with relatives other than the parents sometimes serves the children’s best interests. Commonly the term “grandparent rights”, whether one grandparent or more, is used and the Court actually determines grandchildren’s rights to maintain these preexisting familial bonds.

I appeared on television in San Francisco to discuss a Supreme Court ruling regarding the visitation rights of grandparents. During my decades experience, I've witnessed the profound effects of divorce on the relatives and children of separating couples. Children may find their important relationships with grandparents, stepparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins suddenly severed when their parents’ marriage ends. I help your Family Court make sound decisions regarding these relationships. When the other parent refuses to allow contact with you, I seek the Court’s intervention to establish and enforce a grandparents’ or grandparent’s visitation arrangement.

When the court considers granting visitation to grandparents

Under California Family Court Code §3100-3105, as a grandparent you can petition the Court for child visitation if the children’s parents are unmarried and you have a preexisting strong relationship with your grandchildren.

The court will balance your request for visitation against the parent’s right to exercise their authority over their children. The courts may consider a petition regarding children of married parents if:

  • The parents are living in separate households
  • The children do not live with either parent
  • A parent’s whereabouts remain unknown for at least one month
  • One of the parents joins you in petitioning the court for visitation
  • A stepparent has adopted the children
  • A biological parent is deceased
  • A dissolution is pending and child custody is already at issue

In all cases involving visitation by individuals other than the parents, the court balances parental rights with the children’s best interests.

Resolving grandparent(s’) visitation through mediation

I typically emphasize alternative dispute resolution methods for establishing terms of visitation between family members. Even if you do not have a cordial relationship with your former in-law, cooperation is likely to benefit you, the other parent and the children. I have experience in mediation and collaborative law techniques and can advise you about negotiating a reasonable visitation agreement. In addition, I can apply my 15 years of psychology experience to help your family set your differences aside for the sake of your grandchildren.

Consult with me about grandparent rights to visitation

For help asserting your grandparents’ rights to continue your strong relationship with your grandchildren, call Silverman Family Law, APC, at 760-512-3251 or contact me online to schedule your free initial phone consultation.

Silverman Family Law, APC, located in Carlsbad, California, serves clients in and around Carlsbad, San Diego, Vista, Escondido, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, La Jolla, Mira Mesa, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos and all North County San Diego.