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re: grandparents rights in california, My daughter passed away seven years ago on May 11,2001. at the time she was married to a man named Jamie. she was already pregnant with her third child. my husband and i had guardianship of her first two children. subsequently, she had 2 additional children. the three children are now a girl,jackie age ll, and 2 boys mikie age 9 and ralphie age 7. I might mention my daughter had a problem with the truth and on her autopsy report it read that she had bipolar disorder. which explains a lot of the problems with jamie and his not wanting us to see his children. we have respected his demand that we stay away from him and his family that he delivered to my husband via the phone call he made to tell us that he had put our daughter in the ground that am,and etc,etc,etc.. we already had a full plate with the other two children, working full time and my husband is disabled. then about 2 months ago we inadvertantly found out that the girl not only was in foster care, she has been there for the last seven years. he and the two boys have been living in homeless shelters for approximately 2 years. the guardian of jackie has let us meet her and also let us take her to knotts berry farm and we have had several occasions with her. when jamie found out about it he restated that we will never see the boys. he also this weekend on a visit told jackie some of the awful stories my daughter told him. some if held a form of the truth but most was twisted to suit her needs. i'm not blaming her (she was sick),not him. he was having faith in her that she was telling the truth. my concern is, do we have any rights to see the children? we dont want to get custody of them or have them live with us. he can raise them the best he can. i understand from other sources that they are very wild and mikie has a very bad temper. his brother that we raised, gregory, also has a very bad temper, i think both of them are from the loss of their mother. this could go on and on, but you get the picture. sue
The California Family Code 3103-3104 permits grandparents to litigate visitation rights if a child’s parents divorce, even on the objections of both parents. It also permits the litigation of collateral issues arising from the existence of grandparents’ visitation rights, including using such rights as a “factor” to order a change of residence of the child (3103(f)) or providing for the resolution of additional child support issues relating to the grandparents’ visits (3103(g)). If parent deceased, parents and grandparents of the deceased parent get visitation if in child's best interest. The court must find that there is a preexisting relationship between the grandparents and the grandchild such that visitation is in the child's best interest, and the court must balance the interest of the child in having visitation with the parents' right to exercise their parental authority. Family Code, Section 3100 et seq. Factors considered by the court are: (1) child's preference (if child is old enough); (2) desire and ability of each parent to allow relationship with other parent, and (3) child's health, safety and welfare. Family Code § 3020-3424.
Thus, as a grandparent, especially in the situation you describe, you can file a petition for custody/visitation and it would likely be granted by the courts.
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