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Understanding Grandparents' Rights in California Family Law Cases

Family dynamics have changed considerably in recent years. In many respects, the "nuclear family" is becoming less common. Now, more than ever before, households are home to family members of multiple generations and many grandparents and non-parents are raising, supporting, or caring for children. In response to our changing social landscape, California law has evolved to address the rights of grandparents.

Grandparents may become involved in various family law issues, especially in relation to visitation rights and custody or guardianship. In these situations, the court – as always – will consider which options are in the best interest of a child. They will also take into consideration pre-existing relationships which have "engendered a bond." Grandparents may petition for visitation or to become legal guardians in situations where parents are unable to or no longer wish to have custody. Other situations in which grandparents can assert their rights include:

  • The death of one or both parents
  • Incarceration or drug rehabilitation of a parent
  • A parent supports grandparents in obtaining guardianship or visitation rights
  • A parent is absent or no longer in contact with children

As with all family law matters, cases involving grandparents' rights can become complex, especially when parents are still married. Ultimately, grandparents who are able to provide a stable life, love, and support to their grandchildren deserve a right to state their side of the story and to petition for visitation – or if the need arises – custody.

At Diefer Law Group, PC, our Riverside family lawyers are passionate about protecting the rights of local residents. Throughout each stage of the legal process, we make it a point to provide constant communication, personal attention, and our experienced representation. If you would like to learn more about grandparents' rights, including petitions for visitation rights, call a Riverside family law attorney at (951) 330-4650 for a free initial consultation.