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What is considered when grandparents seek visitation rights?

When people get divorce, their in-laws and the ex-spouse may not always be on the "same team" anymore. If grandparents have been denied access to their grandchildren, there are options for visitation rights. But, there are a few things grandparents in California should consider before seeking visitation.

First of all, family law decisions, such as grandparents' rights to visitation, are determined by California state law. The law is varied and slightly unclear as to what exactly constitutes visitation rights to grandchildren, but laws have progressed in grandparents' favor the last several years. At the basis for all of the visitation and custody decisions of a child is "the best interests of the child."

"The best interests of the child" is determined by many factors, but it is basically exactly what it sounds like. The court makes decisions that will benefit the child over anyone or anything else. Every child has different needs and living situations, but if the court believes that grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child then the court will likely render it so. If this decision can be mediated directly between parent and grandparent, this is usually a better situation than turning to the courts to make the decision.

There are many reasons grandparents may need to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren. The most obvious is to maintain their special relationship and to be a healthy support system for the child during this difficult time of change. In California, many grandparents will want to be a part of their grandchild's life. Hopefully, all grandparents will be a part of their grandchildren's lives in a healthy and positive way.

Source:, "Factors Considered for Grandparent Visitation and Custody," Accessed Sept. 7, 2015

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The Law Office of Karen H. Beckman

The Law Office of Karen H. Beckman
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