In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on grandparents’ visitation rights in the Troxel v. Granville case. Before this case, a judge could grant visitation rights to anyone, even over the objection of the parents, so long as the visits were considered in the best interest of the child. This ruling has severely complicated the rights of grandparents when it comes to seeing their grandchildren. The effect of this decision is that many states now have statutes that only allow grandparents to petition for visitation when there has been a serious breakdown in the relationship with the natural parents. The Troxel decision clearly shows the intent of the court to give natural parents exclusive say as to visitation and custody of their children as long as they are alive and competent.
Fortunately, California is fairly permissive when it comes to giving court orders regarding visitation of grandchildren to grandparents. In deciding to grant visitation rights to anyone, a court will always place the interests of the child first.
For a court to order visitation, you must show that, in doing so, the child’s interests will be advanced.
Visitation rights are determined by a court based whether or not a pre-existing relationship has “engendered a bond.” The court is also directed to balance the interest of the child with the parents’ rights and authority to make decisions.
At Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, our Southern California family law attorneys can provide you with clear information regarding your rights as a grandparent. Whatever the circumstances of your case, we can help you navigate your legal options through aggressive representation and legal advocacy.
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