The Role Of Parents & Grandparents In California Child Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family law attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn 2000, a landmark decision was passed regarding custody and visitation rights of grandparents after the Troxel vs. Granville case. The Court in that case ruled that when it comes to child custody, parents have the upper hand because they are the primary caregiver. However, minor children are also allowed to spent time with their grandparents and it depends upon the decision of the parents.

Parents are given more preference

In cases where both parents and grandparents are involved in custodial battles, the court gives more preference to parents. Also, more significance is given to a parent’s objections regarding visitations by grandparents. California courts believe that since children spent the majority of their time with parents, it makes the parents responsible for what their child does. But that does not mean that children should be kept away from grandparents. Building an amicable relationship with every member of the family should be the goal.

Grandparents can get custody too

Despite what the court orders are, there are always cases where grandparents have got the custody of their grandkids. This usually happens when the parent is either convicted of a crime or is unable to provide for the child. In cases where domestic abuse or child abuse is involved, grandparents may win custody battles. Even in cases where there is serious disruption of parental custody or physical unavailability of parents for long durations, grandparents are given the custody of their grandkids.

The role of grandparents during child custody

In general, grandparents play an important role in a family especially in the lives of grandchildren. Grandparents should guide parents when they want to get a divorce or they want to get married again. They should be supportive but at the same time unafraid to talk about the negative consequences.

During child custody and visitation, grandparents should be able to tell the court why their presence is important. They should clearly identify areas in the child’s development where they play an important role.

Conclusion

Parents and grandparents are both important for child custody and visitation. However, after 2000, California courts award custody of children to parents unless some serious crime is involved. The role of both parents and grandparents must be distinct and each should know their importance in a child’s life. The best resolution would be to allow grandparents to become an integral part of the children’s life while parents continue to maintain their custody.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Parenting Plans for Non-Parents Granted Custody

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOne of the most important issues of divorce cases is the issue of child custody. Often, parents who can’t agree on a common ground, have bitter child custody battles. It not only leads to psychological issues in the child and parents but it also destroys the relationship between the three people. Sometimes, child custody is awarded to a third party like grandparents or any close relative. Who the child goes to depends on the relationship he/she shares with the child and whether the child enjoys that relationship or not. Because in California, a child’s preference is considered over everything else.

If you’ve just been granted in a custody case and you’re not the biological parent, then here are some of the parenting plans which you should keep in mind.

  1. Take care of finances

In your parenting plan, this should be the number one thing. You must keep separate finances for the child’s future and education. Because you never know what tomorrow has in store for either of you. This becomes important in cases where the child had poor parents or who weren’t making substantial amount of money.

  1. Take care of psychological issue

Trauma and other psychological issues are common in children who go through a parent’s divorce. You must ensure that the child under your care is not exposed to nay more trauma. Avoid any discussion that involves his/her parent’s divorce. Spent more time, have fun and enjoy yourselves.

  1. Keep visiting hours for parents

Despite how their relationship might have been when they were together, it’s important for you to keep visiting hours for the parents. The child should not completely lose contact with his/her biological parents. Even if the parent is in jail or a psychiatry hospital, it’s still important that he/she sees his/her parent.

Child custody cases are important issues and need to be dealt with seriously. Child custody battles can sometimes turn ugly and both parents might end up losing custody. In such cases, the custody goes to a third party. For third party parents, a parental plan is equally important as it would have been for the biological parents. A parental plan will ensue that the child is taken care of in the best way possible. Along with other important things, the plan should include finances and visiting hours for the biological parents.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Understanding Visitation Laws for Grandparents

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County family law attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmThe State of California outlines the legal rights of a grandparent over the visitation of his or her grandchildren. It allows an individual to request the court of law to grant reasonable visitation for their grandchild who for some reason no longer lives with them.

What does the court have to ensure before granting visitation to grandparents? 

The court of law has to first establish a pre existing relationship between the grandparents and the grandchild which might have ‘engendered a bond’ between the two. The implication of this phrase is that the court needs to determine that there exists a certain congenial bond between the grandchild and his grandparent which when fostered through reasonable visitation will lead to the best interests of the grandchild involved. Furthermore, the court has to make a decision based on a balanced execution of the grandparent’s visitation rights, the best interests of the child and the parental rights of his parents. 

When can a grandparent request for visitation rights? 

Usually, a grandparent may file for their visitation right only in the event of a legal separation or divorce of the grandchild’s parents. However, as per the Californian family laws, there are certain exceptional circumstances wherein the grandparents can obtain visitation rights even when the grandchild’s parents are still married. If the parents are living separately or the whereabouts of either of them cannot be established for more than a month, the grandparents have the right to seek visitation of their grandchildren. In addition to this, if the grandchild has been adopted by a step mother or father, or does not live with either parent, the grandparent can be granted visitation rights for the best interest of the child. Furthermore, if either or both of the parents are found to be supportive of the grandparents’ visitation petition, the court has the discretion to accept the request in its entirety.

However, in case the grandparents have been granted visitation rights by the court and any or all of the aforementioned situations are reversed, the parents have the right to request the court to end the grandparent’s visitation, and the court is obliged to act accordingly.

Although a complex matter, it is always advisable to discuss and resolve all grandparent visitation related concerns through out of court mediation, as it ensures both the preservation of your relationship with the grandchild as well as his parents, and also the best interests of your grandchild.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

 
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