Orange County Grandparent’s Rights Attorney
According to new research by the AARP, about 37 percent of the grandparents in the United States are assisting their adult children with the financial support of their grandchildren. Despite this large percentage, family law attorneys in California frequently have to fight for the visitation rights of grandparents. If you’re in southern California and you are not being allowed to visit your grandchildren, an experienced Orange County family law attorney with the Bayati Law Group may be able to help you bring your case before a judge.
In far too many cases, grandparents are finding themselves excluded from the lives of their grandchildren, especially after a major family transition like a legal separation or a divorce. After a divorce, for example, a custodial parent might try to obstruct a child from spending time with his or her grandparents. If one of the parents remarries, the child’s step parent may be against the grandparents being a part of the child’s life. Such a circumstance is almost always profoundly unfair, and it’s usually damaging to the child and quite painful to the grandparents as well.
Grandparents in California do have legal rights, but if your grandparental rights are being disregarded or denied, you’ll need to discuss your options and alternatives with an experienced Orange County grandparents’ rights attorney at the Bayati Law Group. Under California law, grandparents have the right to request “reasonable visitation” with a grandchild in many different types of circumstances, including after a divorce or change in the family situation.
DO GRANDPARENTS HAVE A “RIGHT” TO VISITATION?
Grandparents have the right to ask for a court order that allows them to see their grandchildren. However, it has been substantially more difficult for grandparents to win visitation rights since the year 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Washington state law that allowed courts to grant visiting privileges – without regard to parental objections – to grandparents when visitation was believed to be in the child’s “best interests.” In Troxel v. Granville, the Supreme Court found that the right of parents to raise their children is a “fundamental” liberty. Thus, grandparents in the United States do not have an absolute legal right to visitation with their grandchildren, even if the visitations may in fact be in the grandchildren’s best interests.
However, there are still some instances where grandparents may be able to have limited visitation rights granted by the courts. Grandparents in some cases may be granted, for example, a weekend each month or time during summer vacation. In other cases, however, grandparents may be granted very little in the way of visitation rights, and in some cases they can even be removed completely from their grandchildren’s lives.
Because a parent’s rights are legally first and foremost, obtaining grandparental visitation rights can be quite challenging in some cases. If both parents do not want the grandparents to have visitation, extreme circumstances would have to be presented to the court in order to win grandparents visitation rights. But family law and parental rights are rapidly changing, especially in California. Every family and every situation is different. These cases can be difficult, but grandparents seeking visitation rights in southern California should seek first the advice and services of an experienced Orange County family law attorney with the Bayati Law Group.
WHAT DO THE COURTS REQUIRE?
For a California court to approve grandparental visitation rights, the court must establish that there has been a previous, positive relationship – the law says a personal “bond” – between a grandparent and a grandchild. The court must also try to balance the child’s best interests and the grandparent’s interests and rights with the fundamental legal right of a custodial parent to make decisions on the child’s behalf.
California courts and judges almost always recommend the mediation process as the path to a grandparental visitation agreement. A number of family law attorneys in southern California serve as mediators in these kinds of disputes. However, the mediation process does not always work, and you may find that no issues are resolved and no agreements have been reached after attending mediation. State law in California outlines no clear or precise path or procedure for grandparents to follow. Unlike issues involving child custody, visitation, or spousal support, there’s no form or application for filing a grandparental visitation “claim” or petition with the courts.
Thus, if you’re a grandparent seeking grandparental visitation rights in southern California, speak as quickly as you can with an experienced Orange County family law attorney at the Bayati Law Group about mediation and your rights as a grandparent. Every legal procedure takes patience and time, so if you need to see your grandchild or grandchildren, make the call as quickly as possible.
In situations where a parent or parents have been unable to care adequately for a child, or if there is an issue involving child abuse, grandparents sometimes request legal guardianship. In California, when you are trying to become a child’s legal guardian, you need to be able to show the court that your guardianship will serve the child’s best interests. You are required to show how you can protect the child from harm and provide for him or her. If you are a grandparent seeking to become a child’s temporary or permanent guardian, and you can tell a judge why you should be granted guardianship, arrange at once to discuss the matter with an Orange County family law attorney at the Bayati Law Group. Our lawyers can help.
When grandparents seek visitation rights or request guardianship, having an effective advocate on their side can sometimes make all the difference. The future of your relationship with your grandchild is what’s at stake. In southern California, if you need legal help to obtain visitation rights; if you need to request the legal guardianship of your grandchild; or if you simply need detailed, trustworthy legal advice about your grandparental rights in your particular circumstance, don’t wait another day to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County family law attorney at the Bayati Law Group.
THE ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION GRANDPARENTS NEED
When you seek grandparental rights in California, you need to be represented by an experienced family law attorney who successfully and routinely handles family law cases for a variety of clients. Your lawyer needs to have experience representing clients in cases involving grandparents, mothers and fathers rights. Whether you need immediate, dedicated representation from an experienced Orange County family law attorney, or if you simply need legal advice and guidance for the future, an attorney at the Bayati Law Group is available to discuss your options and to help you make the right legal decisions.
Every Bayati Law Group client and prospective client is treated with complete respect and is extended every professional courtesy. It is our policy to return every client phone call and email promptly. Grandparents can schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County grandparents’ rights attorney at the Bayati Law Group right now by calling (949) 798-5700. Or, please complete the form on the contact page of this website, where you can view a map and the address of our office to help you get here. The Bayati Law Group serves clients in Orange County and throughout southern California.