Grandparent Visitation

Grandparent visitation in California is a complex and constantly evolving area of law Whether grandparent visitation is appropriate will generally be determined through analysis of the facts surrounding an individual’s case and applying appropriate statutory and case law. California Family Code 3100-3105.

Generally grandparents cannot file for visitation rights with a minor grandchild while the parents of the minor are married.  However there are exceptions which should be discussed with a experienced Family law attorney. Some factors that may lead to an exception to the general rule are:

  • If the grandchild has been legally adopted by a stepparent.
  • The grandchild lives with neither of his or her blood parents.

In some cases the California Court may find that reasonable grandparent visitation should be ordered. Some critical factors that should be considered by the Court are whether both parents are living, whether both parents have custody, whether one parent opposes grandparent visitation and what kind of relationship the child has with the grandparents seeking visitation.

To grant “reasonable” California grandparent visitation the Court will determine:

  • Whether there exists a pre-existing relationship between the grandchild and grandparents and whether that relationship has en-gendered a bond between the grandparent and child that makes it in the best interest of the child to have an ongoing relationship/visitation with the grandparent.


  • Balance the best interest of the child in combination with the rights of a parent.

The passage of time is critical in these matters and if you are dealing with grandparent visitation issues you should contact an California Family law attorney.