When two people divorce, and there are children involved, the grandparents are legally able to petition the court for visitation rights.
MEDIATION BEFORE COURT
The official California Courts website advises that grandparents should consider mediation before they pursue going to court for those grandparent visitation rights.
“There are a number of problems with pursuing a grandparent visitation claim in family court,” said Gerald Maggio, a divorce mediator located in Orange County. “To start, the courts have huge backlogs. And once a case does get to the front of the line, the family is often ordered to see a mediator anyway.”
HOW MEDIATION CAN HELP WITH GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS
The California Courts website suggests that the best way to reach an agreement regarding grandparent visitation rights is through mediation. This is due to the fact that it better serves the child as well as the family through reducing conflicts, time, and money spent on court proceedings.
NO CLEAR PROCEDURE FOR GETTING GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS
Additionally, there really is no clear-cut procedure for grandparents to file an official claim. The claim might need to eithis be filed under an already existing case, or filed as an entirely new case. In fact, there is no official form to file for grandparent visitation rights.
“Some grandparents think that they have to file an official claim because their child’s ex-spouse is too unreasonable for mediation,” said Maggio. “But those are often the families that can benefit the most from mediation. Litigation just exacerbates conflict and bad feelings while costing everyone a lot of money.”
Grandparent visitation rights are often covered by the parenting plan that is put together during the divorce mediation process. But if the family has decided to go through court, rather than through mediation, often do not include grandparent visitation rights in their co-parenting plan. For families that have pursued court procedures, Maggio noted that these families might want to turn to a divorce or child custody mediator in order to create a specific agreement that includes the grandparent-child relationship.
Sources: Law Firm Newswire, Grandparent Visitation Best Handled Out of Court, Agrees Orange County Divorce Mediator, November 7, 2014
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 431-3131