Grandparent rights are still authorized in California. A court can provide a grandparent with reasonable visitation with his or her grandchild if it finds that:
- There is a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild. This means that there is a bond between the grandparent and the grandchild and that continued visitation would be in the best interest of the child; and
- The best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent out weighs the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.
In general, grandparents cannot usually file for visitation rights while the parents remain married. However, there are exceptions such as:
- The parents are living separately;
- A parent’s whereabouts are unknown 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.