A trendy issue in Sacramento Family Law and in the country is the concept of grandparent visitation rights.Under traditional legal standards, the focus of Sacramento child custody and visitation courts is measuring the rights of the biological parents.  Grandparents, though important in the life of the child, do not have the right to demand automatic visitation with the child in California.  Typically, the Sacramento child custody court will order visitation for grandparents in severe cases where the parents are imprisoned, abusive, or gone.

The Oklahoma legislature is considering a bill that will allow grandparents to request child custody mediation to receive reasonable visitation rights with a grandchild.  As reported by the Oklahoman, More than 79,000 Oklahoma children live in homes headed by their grandparents. Yet the moral, fit and caring grandparents who desire visitation rights€” but not custody ” face a far different reality.

Often, when family problems occur, grandparents have difficulties maintaining a relationship with their grandchildren. Complications may arise from divorces, deaths, military deployments, arguments, violent behavior, jealousy, living arrangements, religious disputes or discrepancies in societal values between generations.€ (For further reading, please see http://newsok.com/advocate-bill-expanding-grandparents-rights-is-worthwhile/article/3763809)

While the California legislature is not presently considering a comparable law, perhaps they should.  There are many broken and ruined families and sometimes the only reliable and available parent is the child’s grandparent.  Regardless, under current California law, grandparents can request visitation rights and it is possible the court will consider that to be in the child’s best interest. The grandparent must launch an independent visitation action and establish via clear and convincing evidence that denial of their visitation is detrimental to the child.

If you are a grandparent of a child involved in a Sacramento child custody and visitation case and you are considering initiating a visitation action, you should strongly consider hiring a Sacramento family law attorney.  Please consider giving us a call.  We are experienced family law attorneys and we can discuss your legal rights under California family law in a free half-hour attorney consultation.