Davis Grandparent Visitation Lawyers Representing Northern California
- Pakpour Banks is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
- Our team has been successfully representing cases in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, Placer County, Colusa County, El Dorado County, and Yuba County.
Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services to individuals involved in grandparent visitation cases. Our California grandparent visitation lawyer helps your family resolve disputes quickly and fairly, avoiding extended litigation when possible.
Grandparents play a critical role in many children’s lives. They may serve as a child’s caregiver or provide love and support from afar. When a child experiences the life-changing trauma of divorce, they need as much consistency as possible. This means that the child should maintain their relationship with grandparents, as long as the relationship is not harmful. Grandparents can provide the love and support children need when they are experiencing a change in their family.
Can a Parent Deny a Grandparent Visitation?
All that being said, parents have a constitutional right to raise their children as they see fit, which includes deciding that their children’s grandparents should not be part of their lives. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that “the interest of parents in the care, custody and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized ….” See Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).
However, state law differs on grandparents’ legal right to visitation. The California Family Code Section does recognize the rights of grandparents to petition the family court for rights to visit their grandchildren. To entertain a grandparent’s petition for visitation, the court needs to:
- Find that the grandparent and grandchild had a preexisting relationship and “engendered a bond”; and
- Balance the parents’ rights to make decisions for their child with the best interest of the child regarding grandparent visitation.
However, such a right should not be exercised trivially.
When Can a Grandparent Petition for Visitation?
Grandparents can generally file only for visitation rights if the parents are no longer in their marriage. If grandparents want to file for visitation during the parents’ marriage, one of the following circumstances has to apply:
- The location of the parents have been unknown for at least a month;
- A step-parent adopted the child;
- The parents live separately;
- The child doesn’t live with their parents; or
- One of the parents joins the grandparent visitation petition.
If these exceptions cease to apply, a parent can ask the court to end grandparent visitation.
What Is a Typical Grandparent Visitation Schedule?
A grandparent may propose a visitation schedule, but the court must decide if the proposed schedule is reasonable. The court may approve a reasonable visitation schedule, while considering these factors:
- The grandparent’s pre-existing relationship with the child, and their emotional bond;
- The child’s interest in visiting the grandparent; and
- The parent’s rights to raise the child as they see fit.
The court may be more likely to approve a visitation schedule that doesn’t overly burden the parent. For instance, a grandparent might visit with the child one afternoon per week or one overnight stay per month.
How Can an Attorney Help a Grandparent Dispute?
Our California grandparent visitation attorneys prioritize attaining working family relationships. Ex-family members don’t have to like each other, but they can work together to find visitation policies in the best interest of the child. When parents refuse the rights of grandparents to visit their children, the level of conflict and ill will between the parties is already high. Hauling everyone into court before a judge will oftentimes exacerbate such conflict, so we try to avoid this option when possible.
Even if grandparents obtain the visitation orders they seek, parents may not comply with them, pushing the conflict back into court, where a judge will be forced to weigh the federal constitutional rights of parents versus the state rights of grandparents.
Similarly, parents responding to a grandparent’s petition to visit their children should not take matters lightly. Beyond consideration of embracing a relationship between the children and their grandparents, parents should also consult a Davis grandparent visitation lawyer to ensure they are not subject to orders with which they cannot comply.
Contact a Knowledgeable California Grandparent Visitation Attorney
If you are involved in a grandparent visitation dispute, you should contact our Davis grandparent visitation attorneys as soon as possible. At Pakpour Banks LLP, we address our clients’ needs while minimizing their legal expenses. We believe that excellent legal representation shouldn’t cost a fortune.
We take grandparent rights and parental rights seriously, and we work with you to find an outcome that prioritizes the best interest of the child. If you are a grandparent seeking time with your grandchildren, we can tell you how to file a petition for grandparent visitation. If you are a parent trying to evaluate a grandparent visitation request, we can help you understand your legal rights. Contact our lawyers for a consultation to learn more about grandparent visitation in California.