Heath-Newton LLP Counselors at Law

Bay Area Family Law Blog


What Is the Process for Upholding the Rights of Grandparents?

It’s completely natural for grandparents to love and want to be with their grandchildren.  It’s only when something goes wrong in a family that California grandparents’ legal rights are explored.

If you are wondering about the process for upholding grandparents’ rights in California, this article was written for you.

Grandparents’ Rights in California – A Necessary Clarification

Although the term “grandparents’ rights” is commonly used, there is no such thing as absolute “grandparents’ rights” in California.  In fact, if the parents do not consent to their child spending time with his or her grandparent, the law provides that there is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the grandchildren’s best interests to spend time with grandparents

Fortunately, for grandparents – that presumption can be overcome under certain circumstances and we’ll show you how.

Grandparent Focus Must be on Best Interests of the Child

First, always focus on the children.

To be awarded time with your grandchildren, you must focus on conveying to the court that being with you is in the best interests of your grandchild.

Review California Family Law

Second, review the law and make sure you show the court how the law applies in your individual case.

We’ll provide the link to relevant law for your convenience: California Grandparent Visitation Law.

File Your Petition with the Superior Court

Third, you must file legal papers outlining exactly why you should be granted visitation with your grandchild.  These papers are called a “petition”.

The Superior Court in the county where your grandchild resides will have jurisdiction over visitation matters, so you must file your petition with that particular court.

  • The State of California has a Superior Court in each county.
  •  In San Francisco County, you must petition the Unified Family Court
  •  For courts outside of San Francisco County, enter “family court” and “Superior Court” with the grandchild’s county name” into your favorite search engine to get the contact and filing information you need.

Where to Get Help with Grandchild Visitation

To learn how the California family law applies to your individual case or if you need help obtaining visitation with your grandchildren, we welcome you to consult with one of our grandparents’ rights attorneys.  Email info@heathnewton.com or call 415.398.1290.  We wish you and your grandchild well and would be happy to help if you need us.

Categories: Grandparents

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