LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Michael John Harrington | Feb 21, 2009

Family Law for Grandparents: Visitation

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Family Code Sec. 3104. (a) On petition to the court by a grandparent of a minor child, the court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparent if the court does both of the following: (1) Finds that there is a preexisting relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild that has engendered a bond such that visitation is in the best interest of the child. (2) Balances the interest of the child in having visitation with the grandparent against the right of the parents to exercise their parental authority. (b) A petition for visitation under this section may not be filed while the natural or adoptive parents are married, unless one or more of the following circumstances exist: (1) The parents are currently living separately and apart on a permanent or indefinite basis. (2) One of the parents has been absent for more than one month without the other spouse knowing the whereabouts of the absent spouse. (3) One of the parents joins in the petition with the grandparents. (4) The child is not residing with either parent. (5) The child has been adopted by a stepparent. At any time that a change of circumstances occurs such that none of these circumstances exist, the parent or parents may move the court to terminate grandparental visitation and the court shall grant the termination.

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