Grandparent Visitation Best Handled Out of Court, Agrees Orange County Divorce Mediator

Law Firm Newswire



Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 7, 2014 – When two parents divorce, the grandparents of the children have the right to petition the court for visitation rights. However, according to the official California Courts website, grandparents should consider mediation before pursuing action in court.

“There are a number of problems with pursuing a grandparent visitation claim in family court,” agreed Gerald Maggio, an Orange County divorce mediator. “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.”

Mediation is recommended by the California Courts as the best way to reach an agreement on grandparent visitation. According to the guide, mediation better serves the child and the family by reducing conflict as well as the time and money spent on a court claim.

For those grandparents thinking of filing an official claim, the California Courts guide notes that there is no clear-cut procedure for grandparents to follow. The claim may need to be filed under an existing case, or it may need to be filed as an entirely new case. The court offers no official form for filing a grandparent visitation claim.

“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 is often covered in the parenting plan when divorces are handled through divorce mediation. But families that have experienced litigated divorce often have no grandparent visitation agreement. Maggio noted that these families can turn to a divorce or child custody mediator to create a specific agreement with regard to the grandparent-child relationship.

Learn more at California Divorce Mediators Main Office 420 Exchange Suite 270-B Irvine, CA 92602 Call: (949) 553-0911 Riverside Office 3750 University Avenue, Suite 670 Riverside, CA 92501 Call: (949) 553-0911