How can grandparents seek child custody?

Many families in California hit a rough patch or two. Divorce is common, and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where the children should live. In certain circumstances when the parents are going through a rough patch the grandparents may offer the best living arrangements for children. So what rights do grandparents have in pursuing legal custodyof their grandchildren?

When grandparents see their grandchildren being raised in a traumatic situation they may feel the need to step in and help. When the parents are going through a divorce, or if the parents aren't married, grandparents may have rights to visitation with the grandchildren and even custody. When the courts determine visitation and custody issues they always think about the best interests of the child. In California, the courts look at whether or not the grandchildren have an established relationship with the grandparents and the status of the parents.

Within the last 40 years grandparents' rights issues have been added to the family court system. Each state now has statutes that govern the visitation rights of grandparents to allow the grandparents to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren. Getting the right information can help grandparents establish a visitation and maybe even a custody arrangement for their grandchildren. It is important for children to live in a stable and loving home. When a child's parents can't provide that home, grandparents can often step in and help.

Grandparents' rights have evolved in the past decade as it becomes clear that they can have an important role in their grandchildren's lives. California has laws protecting the rights of grandparents and grandchildren visitation and custody.