Here at the Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates in Sacramento, we handle all legal issues related to grandparents – both visitation and custody. In California, a grandparent does not have any legal right to visitation of their grandchildren. If the parents do not wish to let their child interact with grandparents, then they might not have any legal foundation to seek any rights to visitation.
Generally, in the population as a whole, visitation issues are never too much of a problem but cases do arise with in-laws when they do not have a good relationship with each other. This could then be used as an excuse to not give the grandparents the opportunity to visit their grandchildren. Little can be done in this situation in the eyes of the law. However, there are some situations where grandparents might be able to take their grandchildren into their custody.
Sacramento Grandparents Rights Attorney
Families crumble for any variety of reasons: divorce, the death of a parent, substance abuse, and/or time in jail. Grandparents in Sacramento and across the U.S. have rights and may seek visitation with grand kids, however those legal rights differ from state to state. Knowing your basic rights can really help ensure that your relationship with the grand kids doesn’t end because of a problem with the parents.
Laws Change State by State
At the most basic level, all states need grandparents to establish that the visits they seek out will be in the best interest of the grandchild. This generally means that grandparents have to show that their visits will be worthwhile and that they aren’t abusive or otherwise harmful to the kid. More than this initial barrier, each and every state has a different threshold for when it will enable grandparents to take a case to court.
When Grandparents Bring up Grandchildren
In some situations, grandparents often do a lot to bring up their grandchildren, sometimes more than a child’s parents. Any current role you have taken on as a grandparent caregiver can assist you in gaining custody of your grandchildren if the child’s parents:
- Neglect their children
- Abuse their children
- Are involved in criminal activity
Custody of Grandchildren
If you have firm evidence that both the parents are not offering a suitable upbringing to your grandchildren due to neglect or abusive actions, you may contact the Child Protection Services who will then investigate your concerns. If they come to the decision that both of the parents are a detriment to the child’s well-being, they have the power to take the child from the home.
When this happens they must find someone to act as a guardian for the child. They may first establish if there are any suitable family members who are willing to bring up the child and grandparents are often favored. This is when you can step in and volunteer to take on this important role.
If as a grandparent you would like to formally adopt the grandchild, you must first terminate the biological parents’ relationship with the child by going through a termination of parental rights legal proceeding.
Adoption by Grandparents
We often represent grandparents who think their children do not have the capacity to bring up their grandchildren and who wish to offer their grandchildren a chance to have a more secure and happier home life. For this to take place, you must provide evidence that neither of the parents has the ability to offer a good environment for the child. It is emphasized that the California court system takes the future of children very seriously and good evidence that a child’s upbringing maybe suffering as a result of parental action is absolutely essential.
Burden of Proof
Depending on the state, these requirements could be intense. Grandparents may have to show they had taken proper care of the child full-time while parents were away for extended amounts of time. Also, perhaps that they participated in typical parental duties for instance, taking the child to doctor visits or even participating in PTA meetings.