Factors Considered In Granting Grandparent Custody & Visitation Rights

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Grandparent Rights California; California Divorce MediatorsThe laws for visitation rights of the grandparents may vary from state to state. Over the years, decisions taken by the courts have undergone a lot of changes. Thus, each state has a different set of laws and rules.

Grandparents are only awarded visitation rights when specific conditions laid down by the court are adhered to. Conditions to get custody rights for the grandparents may vary from that of visitation rights. As grandparents, you should be aware of the conditions applicable for visitation or custody prior to deciding if you should file your petition to request for the same.

Court will keep the interests of the kid in mind

A court has to consider what is best for the child while awarding visitation or custody rights to the grandparents. There are many states where the law mentions all those factors a court should assess while deciding the best interests of the child or children in question. Even in States where such factors are not listed, courts try to identify the factors in visitation and custody cases by interpreting the available state laws. Here are some of the factors, which ascertain what should be done in the best interests of a kid based on case laws and applicable state laws.

  • The ability of the grandparents and/or parents to satisfy the requirements of the kid
  • Need of the kid such as the emotional and physical health, safety of the kid in question and their welfare
  • The desires of the grandparent(s) and the parent(s)
  • The desires of the kid in question in case he or she can take that decision
  • How close the bond is between the grandchild and grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of neglect or abuse by the grandparent(s) or parent(s)
  • Duration of relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent(s)
  • Evidence of substance abuse by the grandparent(s) or the parent(s)
  • Ability of the child to adapt to the community, school or home
  • Distance between the location of the grandparent(s) or the parent(s) and that of the kid
  • Ability of the grandparent(s) or the patent(s) to shower the kid with affection and love

Is the biological parent abusive?

In case a grandparent can furnish necessary proof that the child’s parent is in poor condition, abusive or is incapable, a court can give permissive or even permanent custody rights to the child’s grandparents.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How Grandparents Can Help During A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Grandparent Rights California; California Divorce MediatorsGrandparents often remain in the dark about their children’s divorce because they are not informed about each and every event of the divorce. There might be many reasons as to why children shy away from involving their parents in the divorce but it is mostly due to emotional trauma. They also feel that their grandparents will of little help. But in reality, it’s quite the opposite actually. Grandparents play an important role during divorce and some of them are listed below.

  1. They are the best people to take care of your kids

A grandparent’s home is the second-best place for kids. However, during a divorce it’s the best. While you’ll be busy handling different issues pertaining to your divorce, your children may feel ignored. Also, if you keep them at your grandparent’s home, you won’t have to continuously worry about their safety.

  1. They can be your best friends

Divorce is a time of great stress and trauma and it is the time when you need your family and close friends. Your parents can act as both. They can also give you good advice because they have more experience than you when it comes to family.

  1. They can act as mediators

Since you’ve already decided to go ahead with your divorce, you know the importance of a mediator. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone close to you did the mediation process? Look no further because your parents are the perfect people for the job. Along with mediation they can help you with custody and child support plans. Moreover, they will do it for free which is again great because saving finances is also a priority during divorce.

  1. Kids feel comfortable around grandparents

Research has shown that kids who spend time with their grandparents are happier than children who don’t. Children show signs of euphoria when they are around their grandparents. And it’s no secret that a grandmother’s home is one of the best places to be on this Earth.


If you’re going through a divorce don’t ignore your parents especially if you have kids because they can help you in more ways than one. A grandparent’s home is the best place for kids to be during your divorce. First, they will stay away from all the trouble and second, you and your spouse can deal issues without too much distraction. Your parents are also your best guide and can act as mediators during your divorce proceeding.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Grandparent Visitation Rights In California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Grandparent Rights California; California Divorce MediatorsGrandparents and other caretakers frequently form deep and caring attachments with children. However, when families are torn apart by death, estrangement or divorce, these caretakers could suddenly find themselves without any sort of legal right to maintain any contact with children they fervently adore.

Laws related to child visitation

California has a kind of statute related to “grandparent visitation”. It is through which grandparents-and occasionally foster parents or step-parents- may request the court to provide them legal rights for maintaining relationships with their loved children. State laws may substantially vary when it boils down to the important details, like who has the authority to visit and the circumstances of that visit.

A “restrictive” visitation statute means that only grandparents will obtain a court order through which they can visit. This is granted if the parents of the child are getting divorced or if one parent or both of them have died. However, permissive visitation laws allow the courts to consider a request for visitation even if no parent has died. They can visit even if there was no dissolution in the family. The court permits such visitation keeping in mind the child’s emotional needs. If the courts “restrict” such visits, the divorced parents could agree about preventing the visitation of grandparents. Other than grandparents, even care-taking adults can make such kind of petitions. This requires the caretaker to live in the home of the child for a particular time period so that a visitation request can be filed. Do understand that both permissive and restrictive visitation statutes were challenged in a number of California courts by parents. They give the argument that such laws infringe on the rights of parents to raise children as they want. A number of courts have made rulings which are contradictory to one another.

Decision of the US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court in 2000 tackled this thorny problem related to grandparent visitation rights. It was agreed by the Supreme Court that parents have the fundamental right of making decisions concerning how to raise their children. The court, however, did not agree that permissive visitation statute could be regarded as unconstitutional or that permitting any person who is not a parent to petition for the visitation rights will amount to any assault on family integrity. The Supreme Court however admitted that the statute was applied in an incorrect manner by the lower court, as it presumed that the request of grandparents for extra visitation was in the best interests of the children and not that the parent was functioning in the child’s best interests when he or she refused the grandparents more than short visits. According to the Supreme Court, this approach did not totally protect the fundamental right of a parent to make the decisions for the children.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation