As a parent in California, watching your child go through a divorce, no matter what their age, can be stressful and heartbreaking. This is especially true if there are custody issues. However, a divorce doesn't need to isolate you from your family. At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates, we often represent clients who file for visitation rights to ensure they can maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.
According to the California Courts, the Judicial Branch of California, if you have already established a bond with your grandchild, you can file a petition with the court for reasonable visitation. In the event there is a family law case already in the system as the result of divorce, child support issues or a restraining order, the petition can be filed under that case. If there is no open case, you will need to start from the beginning. Although there is no existing court form for this type of request, there are samples and templates available.
Once the paperwork is filed, the law requires that all parties involved with the physical custody of your grandchild, including stepparents, must be notified. Depending on the specifics of your case, everyone involved may need to be served in person and within a particular time frame, such as 16 days before the scheduled court date. In other circumstances, a letter sent by certified mail with return receipt services may suffice.
If you have tried to continue the relationship with your grandchildren but have been denied access to them by the custodial parent and mediation has not been effective, there are other options. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.