Grandparents' Rights Lawyer in Roseville
When a divorce occurs and the custody of a child is divided, it can be a difficult situation for all of those involved. Grandparents are included in this and they may find themselves lost in the mix. There are different laws that apply in these situations and these are found in California Family Code §3100-3105.It is recommended that you work with a Roseville divorce attorney to make sure that you are looked out for.
How the Court Assesses Visitation
Grandparents can often have little say in regards to their grandchildren during a divorce case and to deal with this, further legal options have been made available. In many cases a grandparent has stepped in as a parent in many ways and suddenly they can lose any rights simply because they are not the biological parent. Through the state laws in California, a grandparent can request that they be given visitation rights in regards to their grandchild. When looking to determine if the court will allow this, they look at two main things.
The first is if there was a previous relationship that existed between the grandchild and the grandparents. Is there already a bond that exists between them prior to the issue being addressed? If so, not allowing the grandparents access could remove a bond that is important to the child at this time. The second thing that will be looked at is if having the visitation of the grandparent would be in the best interests of the child. The court is always placing their focus here and they want to make sure that the child is not hindered by this relationship.
Seeking Rights Without a Divorce
Typically grandparents' rights are sought when the couple is divorcing. The custody of the child may be divided amongst the two parents but the grandparents may still be able to seek some type of right. The divorcing couple may be feuding and often times these disputes can influence the ability of grandparents to see their grandchildren. There are other circumstances where a grandparent may also be able to seek these rights even if the couple is not seeking a divorce.
If the parents are living separately then it may still be possible, as well as if the location of the parent is unknown and they have not been in contact for a month or longer. Rights may also be sought if the child was adopted by their stepparent, if the child is not living with either one of the parents or if the petition for visitation rights for the grandparent is supported by one of the parents. When circumstances arise and the situations above change for a grandparent that has already earned visitation rights, either of the parents can request that the rights be ended by the court and the court should respond to this request immediately.
Petitioning the Court
Visitation can be ordered by the court and a petition will need to be given to begin this process. Depending on if a case is already opened or not, this may be handled in a number of ways. It is best to work with a professional to determine how this should be dealt with. If you are a grandparent that is looking for the ability to see your grandchild, start by determining if there already is a case open. If so, you may be able to include your issue in it. If there is not one open then you will want to start the process. There are a number of forms that will need to be filled out and should be reviewed by a professional to make sure that it is done correctly. Make copies of your forms so that you have them when needed.
You will need to give the original forms to the court and copies should go to the parents. Forms will need to be turned in to the court clerk and they will give you the copies with a stamp marking them as "Filed." A mediation date will likely be given and there is a possibility that you will need to meet with the parents and mediator prior to the set date. Through "service of process," the parents will need to be served with the papers of the case. Proofs of Service will need to be filed and this can be done by the individual that serves the parents. It may be necessary to go before the judge or commissioner depending on the situation and after this the judge will sign the court order if they find reason to do so.