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Grandparent custody and visitation laws in California

Biological parents have the automatic right to custody of their children when they are born. These custody and visitation rights will only be revoked if a parent shows that they are unfit or if they present a risk to their child.

While grandparents do not have any automatic rights to custody, they tend to have a huge desire to love and protect their grandchildren. In certain cases, they may be granted custody of their grandchildren. The following is an overview of the laws concerning grandparent custody and visitation in California.

Court considerations for grandparent visitation or custody

The child custody courts will always make their decisions based on what is considered to be in the best interests of the child. Therefore, if the child already has a good connection with their grandparents and the courts think that custody or visitation will improve the wellbeing of the child, they will gain these rights.

In California specifically, the child custody courts also take into account whether the child’s parents are deceased, whether the child’s parents are divorced or separated, and whether either of the child’s parents are missing to determine whether to award grandparents visitation or custody rights.

The courts also try to justly balance the rights of the parents with the rights of the grandparents. If both parents strongly agree that custody or visitation should not be given to the grandparents, this will be taken seriously.

If you are a grandparent and you are concerned about the wellbeing of your grandchildren, it is important that you consider your legal options and that you are always proactive in ensuring their safety.

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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law
520 Warren Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-381-9591
Fax: 650-261-9650
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