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Grandparent's Visitation Rights in California

Posted by attorney James Miller

Family Code 3104,, speaks of grandparent(s) visitation rights and does limit when a grandparent can file the petition. Subsection b) states, “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."

In addition to the above the court must also find that there is a pre-existing relation between the grandparent(s) and the child.

In California there is a rebuttable presumption that visits by grandparents is not in the best interest of the child if the parents agree there should be no visitation.


To petition for reasonable visitation the petitioner must give notice to the parents of the child, stepparent, or anyone having physical custody of the child. The notice must be personally served to be considered effect service.

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