The sad saga of a Brea couple and their lengthy fight to retain a relationship with their small grandson was detailed recently in the Los Angeles Times.
In 2006, Gilbert and Irene Reyes’ son Alex was shot and killed by his wife’s grandmother. At the time of the incident Alex and his wife Leslie, parents of a small boy, were in the process of getting a California divorce. After Alex’s death a court awarded the Reyes’ “eight hours of visitation every other weekend” with their grandson. Soon afterward, however, Leslie moved to the Chicago area without informing her former in-laws.
The Reyes’ story is a reminder of the difficulties many grandparents face in trying to secure California visitation rights. As the newspaper details, it is was only after several years of both California family court and Illinois court battles that the Reyes’ were awarded a regular visitation schedule with their grandson (once per month in Chicago, where Leslie now lives, and three one-week visits in California each year).
As the Reyes case highlights, the rights of grandparents are very limited when compared to those of parents. Further complicating matters, this issue is governed by state, not federal, law and the situation can vary significantly from state to state – a key factor if, as in the Reyes case, a parent has moved to a different state with the child.
With so many complex issues potentially in play, it is especially important that grandparents who find themselves in an Orange County visitation fight consult a Southern California family law attorney with expertise in child custody and visitation issues. Protecting grandparents’ rights can be challenging – but it is not impossible. The first step is to obtain the right legal assistance. A Costa Mesa or Brea custody and visitation lawyer can help in your fight to maintain a relationship with your grandchildren.
Los Angeles Times: Brea couple fight for relationship with grandson