When summer approaches, the issue of grandparents' rights may become an issue once again. This is because the children are no longer in school. Grandparents may want to make a summer trip out to see the children, or may ask if the kids can come to their home for a week to spend time with their grandparents. In a divorce, grandparents' aren't always welcome to take care of the grandkids. In fact, in California grandparents are not permitted to file for visitation rights if the child's parents are married unless some specific conditions are met.
Grandparents may be able to visit their grandchildren if the parents are living separately or if the child has been adopted by a stepparent or does not live with either parent. Also, if the child's parents' whereabouts are unknown or if one parent has joined a petition to allow the grandparents to visit the child, then these are reasons that the grandparents may receive court-ordered visitation rights.
Visitation rights are always based on the pre-existing relationship between the child and the grandparents. For example, if a grandparent has never actually met his grandchildren, then chances are that the court will not honor the request for rights of visitation. Yet if a grandmother has been invested in her grandchildren's lives, and is now being pushed away because the non-related spouse received custody of the children in a divorce, then she will have the right to fight for visitation.
In 2007, California laws were amended so that grandparents cannot lose their rights to visitation if a stepparent adopts a grandchild, so it is important to use this built-in visitation right if this is your situation. The court will want to balance the direct interests of the child involved in the court dispute with the desires of the parents and their authority to make decisions about the child. If you want more information about grandparents' rights then talk to a San Fernando divorce lawyer at Cutter & Lax today. These attorneys understand how to help you negotiate for the visitation you want this summer.