Fraud Blocker

2024 California Grandparents Rights Explained

By Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP | Jan 16, 2023

Grandparents’ rights in California can be a complex and delicate subject. Grandparents may wish to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren despite the wishes of the parents or legal guardians. The state law allows grandparents to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren. However, they must first establish that the relationship is in the child’s best interest. To be best educated on the topic, it is helpful to learn more about the legal aspects of grandparents’ rights. It can also be useful to know the criteria used by the court to determine the appropriate amount and frequency of visitation. Certain circumstances may also affect grandparents’ rights.

Grandparents’ Rights in California

Grandparents do not have an automatic right to visitation or custody in California. The court’s primary concern is always the child’s well-being. Therefore, grandparents must present evidence to support their claim that the child will be harmed without the relationship. The court will then evaluate several factors, including:

  • The child’s age
  • The grandparents’ relationship with the child
  • The child’s relationship with the parents or legal guardians

Seeking Custody

In cases where grandparents seek custody, they must prove that the child’s parents cannot care for the child or that the child is at risk of harm in the home. The court will consider similar factors as in visitation cases. However, the burden of proof is higher.

An attorney can provide invaluable support to grandparents seeking to assert their rights over their grandchildren. They can start by educating grandparents about the laws and regulations that pertain to grandparents’ rights and guiding them through the legal process. This includes filing petitions for grandparents’ rights to visitation or custody of their grandchildren. They can also represent them in court.

Throughout the process, an attorney can help grandparents understand the legal standards that the court will use to evaluate their case. They can use this knowledge to present evidence that demonstrates the importance of the grandparents’ relationship with their grandchildren. They can show the court how their presence in their grandchildren’s lives is beneficial to them.

Similarly, an attorney can advocate for the grandchildren’s best interests. This can ensure that any legal proceedings consider their needs and well-being.

Circumstances That May Affect Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents’ rights can be affected by particular circumstances, such as the death of one parent, an adoption, or the child’s parents being unmarried. In these situations, the grandparents’ rights may be limited or terminated. For instance, if another family adopts a child, the grandparents’ rights to visit or seek custody of the child will be terminated. Additionally, if the parents of the child are unmarried, the grandparents may have to go through extra legal steps to establish their rights.

Grandparents’ rights can also vary depending on the specific county in California, as the courts have some discretion in interpreting the law. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney. They can help you understand the specific laws and regulations in your area.

Evidence to Demonstrate a Grandparent’s Fitness for Full Custody of Their Grandchild

There are several factors that a court may consider when determining whether a grandparent is fit to have full custody of their grandchild. Some of these include:

  • The child’s relationship with the grandparent: A court may look at how close the child is to the grandparent and whether the grandparent has been involved in the child’s life in the past.
  • The grandparent’s ability to provide for the child: A court may look at the grandparents’ financial stability, living arrangements, and ability to provide for the child’s basic needs.
  • The child’s best interests: A court will always consider what is in the child’s best interests when making a custody decision. This may include the child’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as their need for stability and continuity in their life.
  • The parents’ situation: A court will also consider the parents’ fitness and if they can provide for the child.
  • Any history of abuse or neglect: A court will also consider any history of abuse or neglect on the part of the grandparent or any other household member.


Q: What legal rights do grandparents have in California?

A: Grandparents in California have certain legal rights related to their relationship with their grandchildren. These rights include:

  • The right to file for visitation or custody of their grandchildren
  • The right to receive notice of court proceedings involving their grandchildren
  • The right to seek court-ordered reunification with their grandchildren if they have been separated

Additionally, California law recognizes the importance of maintaining relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren. It encourages courts to consider the best interests of the child when making decisions about grandparents’ rights.

Q: Do grandparents have rights to see their grandchildren in California?

A: Yes, grandparents in California have the right to seek court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. This means that grandparents can file a petition with the court asking for regular visits with their grandchildren. The court will evaluate the request based on the best interests of the child. However, grandparents must first demonstrate that they have a meaningful relationship with the child. They must also show that their presence in the child’s life is beneficial.

Q: Can grandparents take my child away in California?

A: Grandparents do not have the legal right to take a child away from their parents in California. Custody decisions are made in the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the child’s health, safety, and welfare when making its decision. However, there are situations where the parents are deemed unfit or unable to care for the child. In those cases, the court may award custody to the grandparents.

Contact Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, Today

If you are a grandparent seeking custody of your grandchild in California, it is important to understand your legal rights and the process for filing for custody. Our firm provides experienced and compassionate legal counsel. We can help guide grandparents through the process of filing for custody and protecting their rights. Contact Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, today to learn more about your legal options.

Schedule Your Case Strategy

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

© Copyrights 2024 Quinn & Dworakowski LLP. All Rights reserved Disclaimer|Site Map|Privacy Policy

Digital Marketing By rize-logo