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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16237
Experience:  7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I am a maternal grandmother who has not seen my grandchildren

Resolved Question:

I am a maternal grandmother who has not seen my grandchildren since December 23, 2012 because my daughter will not let me see my grandchildren. I was there at both of their births, helped take care of them for the first 6 & 7 yrs. of their lives and now because my daughter thinks she's better than me, will not let me have any contact with my grandchildren Garrett and Lauren.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I am sorry to hear about the situation and what you are dealing with. I'm sure your grandchildren are very special to you and you want to be in their lives. With that being said, I am assuming that your question is about your rights as a grandparent and what you can do to try and see them, if possible?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I need to know about my rights as a grandparent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
I did not receive an answer of what I can do to see my grandchildren
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Mary, thank you for the additional information. Sorry for the delay as my answer was long and I needed to type it. Under California law, a grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. To give a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild, the court has to:

1) Find that there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild that has “engendered a bond.” This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in best interest of the grandchild.

AND

2)Balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.

Based on the facts which you stated above, it does appear that these things are present.

In general, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the grandchild’s parents are married. But there are exceptions, like:

The parents are living separately;
A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month);
One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;
The child does not live with either of his or her parents; or
The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.


Below is also the code which applies, for your review. If you do want to proceed, you would need to do so through the court and the clerk of court in the county where the children reside, would need to hear the matter. The burden would be on you, as the moving party, to show the above stated elements are present.


3103. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a
proceeding described in Section 3021, the court may grant reasonable
visitation to a grandparent of a minor child of a party to the
proceeding if the court determines that visitation by the grandparent
is in the best interest of the child.
(b) If a protective order as defined in Section 6218 has been
directed to the grandparent during the pendency of the proceeding,
the court shall consider whether the best interest of the child
requires that visitation by the grandparent be denied.
(c) The petitioner shall give notice of the petition to each of
the parents of the child, any stepparent, and any person who has
physical custody of the child, by certified mail, return receipt
requested, postage prepaid, to the person's last known address, or to
the attorneys of record of the parties to the proceeding.
(d) There is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of
proof that the visitation of a grandparent is not in the best
interest of a minor child if the child's parents agree that the
grandparent should not be granted visitation rights.
(e) Visitation rights may not be ordered under this section if
that would conflict with a right of custody or visitation of a birth
parent who is not a party to the proceeding.
(f) Visitation ordered pursuant to this section shall not create a
basis for or against a change of residence of the child, but shall
be one of the factors for the court to consider in ordering a change
of residence.
(g) When a court orders grandparental visitation pursuant to this
section, the court in its discretion may, based upon the relevant
circumstances of the case:
(1) Allocate the percentage of grandparental visitation between
the parents for purposes of the calculation of child support pursuant
to the statewide uniform guideline (Article 2 (commencing with
Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 9).
(2) Notwithstanding Sections 3930 and 3951, order a parent or
grandparent to pay to the other, an amount for the support of the
child or grandchild. For purposes of this paragraph, "support" means
costs related to visitation such as any of the following:
(A) Transportation.
(B) Provision of basic expenses for the child or grandchild, such
as medical expenses, day care costs, and other necessities.
(h) As used in this section, "birth parent" means "birth parent"
as defined in Section 8512.



3104. (a) On petition to the court by a grandparent of a minor
child, the court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the
grandparent if the court does both of the following:
(1) Finds that there is a preexisting relationship between the
grandparent and the grandchild that has engendered a bond such that
visitation is in the best interest of the child.
(2) Balances the interest of the child in having visitation with
the grandparent against the right of the parents to exercise their
parental authority.
(b) A petition for visitation under this section may not be filed
while the natural or adoptive parents are married, unless one or more
of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The parents are currently living separately and apart on a
permanent or indefinite basis.
(2) One of the parents has been absent for more than one month
without the other spouse knowing the whereabouts of the absent
spouse.
(3) One of the parents joins in the petition with the
grandparents.
(4) The child is not residing with either parent.
(5) The child has been adopted by a stepparent.
At any time that a change of circumstances occurs such that none
of these circumstances exist, the parent or parents may move the
court to terminate grandparental visitation and the court shall grant
the termination.
(c) The petitioner shall give notice of the petition to each of
the parents of the child, any stepparent, and any person who has
physical custody of the child, by personal service pursuant to
Section 415.10 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(d) If a protective order as defined in Section 6218 has been
directed to the grandparent during the pendency of the proceeding,
the court shall consider whether the best interest of the child
requires that any visitation by that grandparent should be denied.
(e) There is a rebuttable presumption that the visitation of a
grandparent is not in the best interest of a minor child if the
natural or adoptive parents agree that the grandparent should not be
granted visitation rights.
(f) There is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of
proof that the visitation of a grandparent is not in the best
interest of a minor child if the parent who has been awarded sole
legal and physical custody of the child in another proceeding, or the
parent with whom the child resides if there is currently no
operative custody order objects to visitation by the grandparent.
(g) Visitation rights may not be ordered under this section if
that would conflict with a right of custody or visitation of a birth
parent who is not a party to the proceeding.
(h) Visitation ordered pursuant to this section shall not create a
basis for or against a change of residence of the child, but shall
be one of the factors for the court to consider in ordering a change
of residence.
(i) When a court orders grandparental visitation pursuant to this
section, the court in its discretion may, based upon the relevant
circumstances of the case:
(1) Allocate the percentage of grandparental visitation between
the parents for purposes of the calculation of child support pursuant
to the statewide uniform guideline (Article 2 (commencing with
Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 9).
(2) Notwithstanding Sections 3930 and 3951, order a parent or
grandparent to pay to the other, an amount for the support of the
child or grandchild. For purposes of this paragraph, "support" means
costs related to visitation such as any of the following:
(A) Transportation.
(B) Provision of basic expenses for the child or grandchild, such
as medical expenses, day care costs, and other necessities.
(j) As used in this section, "birth parent" means "birth parent"
as defined in Section 8512.


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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16237
Experience: 7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
FamilyAnswer and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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