Grandparents Rights Regarding Supervised Visitation in California

Grandparent enjoying visitation with grandsonCircumstances for grandparents regarding supervised visitation rights consist of one or more of the following variables; a decision of if a father or mother is deceased, the child’s father and mother are divorced or separated, the location of one mother or father is not known, or the child is not living with either mother or father.

As well, establishing that visitation remains in the child’s best interests, the court must see that the grandparents experienced a preexisting relationship with the grandchild.

The court has to in addition balance visitation with the parents’ rights. In case both parents concur that the court must not grant Grandparents Rights for visitation of the grandchild(ren), the court will presume that visitation is actually not in the child’s best interests. Adoption does not automatically remove the visitation rights of grandparents. NOTE: California’s grandparents rights to visitation statute has indeed been challenged on constitutional grounds. Ask your attorney.


Visitation Rights of Grandparents

Grandparents Rights by California Courts Judicial CouncilIf you are a grandparent and want information about visitation with your grandchildren, there are many resources that can help you learn about your options and understand your rights as a grandparent.

Under California law, a grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. To give a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild, the court has to:

  1. Find that there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild that has “engendered a bond.”  This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in the best interest of the grandchild.


  1. Balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.

In general, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the grandchild’s parents are married. But there are exceptions, like:

  • The parents are living separately;
  • A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month);
  • One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;
  • The child does not live with either of his or her parents; or
  • The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.

If a grandparent has visitation rights through the courts, and things change and none of these exceptions apply anymore, one or both parents can ask the court to end the grandparent’s visitation and the court must then end the grandparent’s visitation rights at that time.

Read California Family Code sections 3100-3105 California Family Code sections 3100-3105 to read the law about a grandparent’s rights to visitation. This code section also details other situations the court must consider before giving visitation to a grandparent. Make sure you read it carefully and get legal advice from a lawyer if you think they may apply to your case.

Learn more about your grandchild visitation options for southern California at Farzad Family Law

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