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Grandparent's Rights

California Family Code Section 3104 does provide for visitation to grandparents however, it is limited. Often times it is better for the grandparent to "make nice" with the parent or parents in order to ensure a fluid and regular visitation schedule with a child. Grandparent visitation on its own is limited, so seeing a child through visitation orders granted to a parent is often the better way to go. If that is impossible because of ill-will or other problems, the court may grant reasonable visitation if it is found to be in the best interest of the child. It is important to note that there is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that the visitation of a grandparent is not in the best interest of the child if the child's parents agree that the grandparent should not be granted visitation. The court must find both of the following:

  1. There is a pre-existing relationship between the grandparent and the child that has engendered a bond such that visitation is in the child's best interest.
  2. The interests of the child in having visitation with the grandparents against the rights of the parents to exercise their parental authority are balanced.

In any event, Family Code Section 3105 states that children have a right to maintain a stable relationship with a person who has served in a significant parental role such as a guardian. The court may grant reasonable visitation to a previous guardian if, once again, it is the best interest of the child.

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