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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