How can a judge’s decision in family court affect my rights as a grandparent?
As you may recall from the section on “grandparents’ rights,” beginning on PG 720, grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to custody of or visitation with their grandchild(ren).
But if you successful join an ONGOING family court case about your grandchild, the judge could:
- Grant you visitation rights if you meet the legal requirements (see PG 738), AND/OR
- Grant a parent or other caregiver custody of your grandchild, and that parent or caregiver then chooses whether or not to let you see the child.
In order to have a judge order visitation with a grandparent, the grandparent must join the case and prove a “strong bond” with his or her grandchild. A judge will probably deny a grandparent’s request for visitation if the parents object or if the parents are still married and living together. ↑