Visitation Rights for Parents and Grandparents
Visitation is NOT automatically discussed in a guardianship proceeding -- it is up to one of the people involved in the case to raise the issue.
- The court's focus is on the best interests of the child. It will honor the child's right to have visitation with a grandparent or other relative.
For the Parents:
Before the hearing, it would be good if the potential guardian and each parent tried to reach an informal agreement about a visitation schedule for the parent and the child. If this doesn't work out, at the first hearing on the guardianship each parent may tell the judge that he or she would like to be able to visit with the child.
The probate court can order a guardian to let the parents visit or contact the child, but the court may also put limits or other conditions on the visitation, such as requiring that any visitation be supervised.
The court may decide when, where, how often, and under what conditions the parent may visit the child - based on what it finds would be in the best interests of the child.
- It is important to note that court-ordered visitation may not interfere with or undermine the guardianship.
- If the parent is in jail, there may be special programs or community organizations (such as Friends Outside) which may be able to assist in arranging the visits.
In general, grandparents in California do not have a legal right to visit a child who is living with a guardian.
If the grandparents would like to visit the child and the guardian does not want to allow this, the grandparents could ask the guardian to attend mediation to try to work out an agreement.
It is also possible to take the issue to court.
For more information about guardianship cases in your county, click here.
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