If you are a grandparent who wants to take care of your grandchildren, you may be wondering how to seek custody. While grandparents do not have custody rights to their grandchildren, there can be ways to obtain custody if the parents are unable or unfit to take care of their own children. The primary consideration in child custody cases is always the best interests of the child. In some situations, living with grandparents would provide a stable, safe, and nurturing environment that promotes the child’s well-being. If the child is not getting the care they need in their home, a court may look to a grandparent to step in and provide for the child.
Reasons grandparents are granted custody
A judge may grant guardianship to grandparents under certain circumstances when it is determined to be in the child’s best interest. The specific criteria for granting guardianship to grandparents can vary from one jurisdiction to another. A few reasons why a judge will grant grandparents guardianship are:
- Parental unfitness: If the parents of the child are deemed unfit to care for the child due to issues such as substance abuse, neglect, abuse, incarceration, or mental illness, a judge may consider grandparents as suitable alternative caregivers.
- Established relationship: If the child has an established and positive relationship with the grandparents and has been living with them or spending significant time in their care, a judge may be more inclined to maintain that relationship for the child’s stability and emotional well-being.
- Parental consent: In some cases, both parents may agree to the grandparents having guardianship, making it more likely for a judge to grant guardianship to the grandparents.
- Abuse or neglect: If there is evidence of abuse or neglect by the parents, a judge may step in to protect the child’s safety by awarding guardianship to the grandparents.
- Death of parent(s): If one or both child’s parents have passed away, a judge may consider the grandparents as appropriate caregivers if they are willing and able to assume guardianship.
- Other factors: Depending on the specific circumstances, other factors may come into play, such as the child’s age and preferences and the grandparents’ willingness to facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Other roles grandparents can play
Even if a grandparent can’t gain custody, they still can have a crucial role in the lives of their grandchildren.
Maintain healthy communication with their grandchildren: By having regular phone calls, video chats, writing letters, and routine visits, grandparents can stay in contact with their grandchildren, so the kids know they are loved and supported. Make sure parents are aware and approve of all communication to remain in good standing with both parents.
Offer support to the parents: If you can be helpful while getting to spend time with your grandchildren, you can make a real difference in the lives of your grandchildren. If you are able, offer to babysit, help with childcare, take children shopping for necessities, and with occasional meals.
Grandparents can also be awarded visitation
If you are in Las Vegas, NV and are seeking legal advice, give Warnock Family Law a call today.