The California Family Code has provisions for a minor child’s grandparent(s) who seek to obtain visitation rights. Such rights may be granted if the courts find that it is for the best interest of the child, balanced against the custodial parent’s rights, and if there has been a pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild [Fam. C. § 3104 (a)].
The petition for visitation may be filed even if the parents are still married but no longer live together [Fam. C. § 3104 (b)(1)], and the petitioner is required to give notice to the parents of the child, stepparents (if there are any), and any person who has physical custody of the child [Fam. C. § 3104 (c), CCP § 415.10].
If the parent awarded sole legal and physical custody in another proceeding objects, or there is no currently-operative custody order in effect, there is a rebuttable presumption “affecting the burden of proof” that grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interest [Fam.C. § 3104(f)].
Grandparents may at times be granted visitation rights, and an experienced Family Law Attorney could provide invaluable help in providing more information, or even in properly obtaining one, so it is best to work with an expert in Family Law.