Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Grandparents' visitation rights in California -- Part II

In California, a grandparent may ask for visitation rights if the child's parents are not living together under the same roof. In an earlier post, we discussed the conditions under which a grandparent may seek visitation rights. Typically, the courts consider the best interests of the child, while giving visitation rights to the grandparent.

Now, how does a grandparent go about seeking visitation rights? The grandparent needs to file a court petition seeking visitation rights. The child's parents may have already filed a family law petition in court, such as a divorce, a child support case or a child custody case. Then, the grandparent may seek visitation under any of these cases. If there is no such case pending in court, the grandparent may have to file a case in a California court.

At present, there are no official forms for this purpose. Nonetheless, several California courts have come up with templates that can be used by the grandparents for seeking visitation rights. The grandparent may also seek the help of an attorney to help with certain parts of the case. So, the first thing that a grandparent needs to do is to determine if there is a family law case that is open in court.

Then the grandparent needs to complete the relevant forms. The Request for Order is one form that can be used; another form is the Child Custody and Visitation Application attachment. If a grandparent has already prepared a proposal about visitation rights, that has to be submitted to the court as well. The next step is to get the forms reviewed and make three copies of the forms. The original is for the court clerk.

Source:, "Visitation Rights of Grandparents," accessed on July 15, 2015

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