Los Angeles Third-Party Visitation Lawyer in Claremont Serving Throughout California
The law presumes that parents know what’s best for their children. So long as parents fulfill their legal duties (providing food and shelter, paying child support, avoiding abuse), and they otherwise follow the law, parents are given near-exclusive control over how their children are raised. That includes deciding who is allowed to spend time with their children.
Family dynamics are not always so simple, however. In many families, grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents, and other relatives can play just as much a role in a child’s life as do the child’s legal or biological parents. When those parties want to maintain a relationship with a child but the parents object, who has the right?
If you are seeking legal rights to a child as an interested third party, talk to a seasoned California third-party visitation attorney to find out your options. At Blasser Law, our third-party visitation legal team knows that families come in all shapes and sizes. We help relatives fight for their legal right to see the children with whom they share a profound bond. Call our Claremont child custody and visitation legal team today for advice and assistance in pursuing third-party visitation and other legal rights or if you are a parent objecting to a third party’s attempts at visitation.
When Does Third-Party Visitation Arise?
Third-party visitation can arise in a number of circumstances, whenever parental rights are at issue. Most commonly, third-party visitation comes up in the following situations:
- When the child’s parents divorce
- When the child’s parents have never been married and are not in a relationship with one another
- When one or both parents dies
In those situations, parental rights come into question, and the rights of other parties are more likely to be taken into consideration. If the child’s parents are married and there are no questions of parental fitness or other issues, it is much more difficult for any third party to request and obtain visitation over the parents’ objection. If one parent dies, for example, and the surviving parent cuts the child off from their former spouse’s side of the family, members of that family might be able to argue that visitation is best for the child.
Grandparents and Other Third Parties
California law and courts have determined that grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents, and other relatives may have the right to request visitation with children even over the objection of the children’s biological or legal parents. The court’s primary objective will always be to analyze the best interests of the children and make a decision on that basis. California courts have determined that if visitation would serve the child’s best interests, visitation would not unduly violate the parents’ right to raise their children how they see fit.
In California, grandparents have a bit of an advantage as compared to other third parties when seeking visitation. Where grandparents have an existing relationship with their grandchildren, such that they have “engendered a bond,” and the parents refuse to let that relationship carry on, courts have allowed visitation even over the objection of the parents. The grandparents must still overcome the presumption that the parents’ decision represents the child’s best interests.
Other relatives such as aunts and uncles can also request visitation, provided that they can show that they have a relationship with the children and that preventing visitation will do more harm than good to the children. Courts always begin with the presumption that the parents know best, and overcoming that presumption can be difficult. The interested party must show that preventing visitation would be detrimental to the child’s interests. If the parents are divorced, or if one parent is deceased, courts are more willing to override the remaining parent’s objections.
If you are a grandparent or other relative seeking visitation of a child, an experienced Claremont third-party visitation attorney at Blasser Law may be able to help.
Fighting Against Third-Party Visitation as a Parent
If you are a parent and you feel that visitation from a specific party would hurt your child, you have the right to stand up for your parental autonomy. Once a court has ordered third-party visitation, you cannot unilaterally choose to deny that visitation. However, if you can show the court that the visitation would not be in your child’s best interests, you might be able to modify or eliminate the visitation schedule. Call an experienced California child custody and parental rights attorney to discuss your situation and learn how you can protect your rights and your family.
Trusted Advice and Assistance From a Seasoned Claremont Third-Party Visitation Lawyer
Get help protecting or restoring your relationship with important children in your life by contacting a dedicated, thorough, and compassionate Claremont child custody lawyer at Blasser Law for a consultation at 877-927-2181.