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Child custody and visitation is one of the most frequently contentious and emotionally challenging areas of family law. Our board-certified family law attorneys provide expert, compassionate legal advice for families confronting grandparent and stepparent rights in San Diego County Family Court, as well as other areas of family law.

What Are the Rights of Grandparents and Stepparents in California Child Custody Cases?

In certain instances, grandparents or stepparents may have the right to request an order for child sharing.  Under California Family Code Section 3100, a judge may grant “reasonable visitation rights” to any person who has an interest in the welfare of the child. This includes a stepparent who has developed a strong bond with their stepchild. Although these rights have been limited in recent case law, in an appropriate case, the Family Court is permitted to make orders to allow non-parents to visit with the children. In representing either side to such an action, it is important the ground work be laid before any motion is filed.

The law has a presumption that a custodial parent should be permitted to make reasonable decisions concerning other non-parents’ contact with minor children. In cases when either a grandparent or stepparent is being denied access to minor children, the Court has the jurisdiction to make visitation orders.

Grandparents and Stepparents May Participate In Some Divorce Custody Cases

In an appropriate case, grandparents or stepparents may be made a party to a divorce action. In the event these third parties become participants in the divorce action, the Court has jurisdiction to make an award of attorney’s fees against them.


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Speak With Experienced Family Lawyers in San Diego County

The San Diego family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC has experience in bringing motions for grandparent or stepparent visitation, as well as defending against these actions. Contact the firm at (888) 860-8544 to discuss your rights as a grandparent or stepparent.

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