The Court may grant reasonable visitation to a stepparent if it is in the child’s best interest [Family Code section 3101].
A stepparent is defined as a person who is a party to the marriage and is the subject of the proceeding who is seeking visitation with the children or children of the other party to the marriage [Family Code section 3101].
If either parent of an unemancipated minor child is deceased, the children, siblings, parents, and grandparents of the deceased parent may be granted reasonable visitation if it is in the child’s best interest [Family Code section 3102]. The list set forth in Family Code section 3102 is not exhaustive [Guardianship of Martha M (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 909, 913].
By far the most common is grandparent visitation. Grandparents can seek visitation in one of two ways:
By independent action if there is not already a proceeding pending [Family Code section 3104]. The caveat is that a grandparent cannot seek court-ordered visitation if the parents are still married, unless a statutory exception applies i.e., the parents are living separately and apart on a permanent or indefinite basis.
Grandparent visitation is NOT automatic and it is more challenging if a parent of the minor child or children objects.