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How to secure grandparent visitation in California

Family dynamics can change over time, and no two families are exactly alike. Therefore, when family law issues arise, whether through divorce or ending a non-marital relationship, the parties to the case need an individualized approach. When the court makes determinations on important family law issues, such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony, it will turn to the specific facts of each case. Therefore, it is critically important for those who are entering this arena to know how to use the facts and the law to their advantage.

This can be especially true when dealing with grandparents' rights. Far too often when parents divorce, grandparents are left with a minimized role in their grandchildren's lives. A bitter ex-spouse may disallow contact, and even when contact is allowed, the mere day-to-day life of a child who splits time between parents can make it difficult to work grandparents into a visitation schedule. Yet, by utilizing the particular facts at one's disposal, and the law, a grandparent may be able to secure legally enforceable visitation.

In order to do so under California law, a grandparent must show two things. First, he or she must demonstrate that he or she has a bond with the child that was created through a relationship that existed prior to the parents splitting. In conjunction with this, a grandparent must show that the relationship is endangered and that visitation is in the child's best interest. Second, the grandparent must show to the court that such visitation provides an appropriate balance between what is in the child's best interest while at the same time protecting the parents' right to make parental decisions.

Pursuing grandparents' rights can be a challenging task. However, many Californians are able to use the law to their advantage to reach a favorable outcome. Doing so often requires skillful use of the rules of evidence and competent negotiation and litigation skills, though, which is most often found in an experienced law firm.

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