How to Get Custody of Grandchildren

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When you are a grandparent who wants to gain legal custody of grandchildren, there are several reasons why the courts will permit this action. It is important to collect your evidence for a judge to look at, and in many cases, you will need the assistance of an attorney to gain custody of your grandchildren.

Reason 1: The Children’s Parents Are Deceased or Incapacitated

If a serious injury occurs to your son or daughter that leads to death or total incapacitation, then you can usually gain custody rights. The exception to this might be that another relative may fight for custody, including a noncustodial parent. A judge may grant temporary custody to you while the case is being researched so that you can make important decisions for a minor child. If the child’s parent is incapacitated, then the judge may continue to review the case to determine if the parent is recovering from her injuries.

Reason 2: Neglect or Abuse of Children by Their Parents

When a parent isn’t caring for his children properly, law officials may remove the children from the home. These children may go to shelters or foster homes, but a grandparent can hire an attorney to gain legal custody of his grandchildren. The judge reviewing the case may give a grandparent temporary custody until the parent completes a prison sentence or other treatment program, but if there are repeated cases of neglect or abuse, then a grandparent can petition for permanent custody.

Reason 3: Parents Are Willing To Give Custody to a Grandparent

If one or both parents are willing to give custody of a child to a grandparent, then the courts can provide the proper paperwork. There are several reasons why a parent might relinquish custody of a child, including incarceration in a prison, a serious physical illness or an inability to provide the correct daily care of a child. In some cases, a parent is too young to care for an infant or toddler, and the grandparent is willing to care for the child.

Reason 4: The Parent Is Mentally Unfit

A grandparent may want to gain custody of a grandchild when the child’s parents are mentally unfit. Proving mental unfitness is difficult because an individual with a mental illness has certain rights. However, you can collect evidence against your child when you believe that a grandchild is in danger. Older children can also provide information to the courts concerning where they want to live.

Reason 5: A Parent Is Addicted To Alcohol or Drugs

When a grandparent knows that her son or daughter is addicted to substances such as drugs or alcohol, she can hire an attorney to help her gain custody of her grandchildren. An attorney can collect evidence such as arrest records for driving under the influence or being involved in drug trafficking. It is important to remember that a judge may only give a grandparent temporary custody when a child’s parent is willing to enter an addiction treatment program.