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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32832
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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my granddaughter lives with her mother, the mom and my son

Customer Question

my granddaughter lives with her mother, the mom and my son just had a falling out. He was arrested for domestic violence at least that's what we think, we don't know the actual charges until his court date August 13, 2013. but the mother is being very difficult with us. We have been huge part of our granddaughters life even while she was in the womb. the mother lived with us during her pregnancy and after the baby was born for about 6-9 months until they found an apartment. Sinve then we have watched the baby while mom workded on weeekends, when day care called due to her being sick, when mother needed to do homework for school, study and even when she needed to clean her apt, or get rest. The baby has sleep overs many times throughtout the weeks and months.

Due to this legal issue we know we want to know our rights as grand parents to make sure we will be able to see our grand daughter on a regular basis and have sleepovers.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

The key question will be the status of mom and dad. Can you tell me, are mom and dad married?

If not, is dad on the child's birth certificate?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Mom and dad are not married


Yes my son is on the birth certificate

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Ma'am

That actually helps you...that is, if the couple were married, it would not be possible under CA law for you, as the grandparent, to seek visitation with the child

The court can grant visitation to the grandparents IF the parents are divorced or not married AND the grandparents can demonstrate that visitation is in the best interest of the child

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)).

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 based on what you describe.

You will need to have a local attorney prepare/present this case for you to the court.

Let me know if you have more questions....happy to assist if I can