When a custody situation takes place, many times, grandparents are the only family members fighting for the rights of the children. Sadly, there are times when parents are not fit to take care of their own kids, and grandparents are there to save the day.
However, what rights do grandparents have regarding custody? While each state is different, most of the laws have similar language and outlines. In this article, we’ll discuss the rights grandparents have in custody cases.
Why Would Grandparents Have to Take Custody?
There could be multiple reasons for the grandparents’ interest in custody. Normally, these situations arise because of negligent parents who have lost their rights to their children.
Additionally, cases where parents are left seriously injured, or worse, have lost their lives, could lead to the grandparents fighting for custody.
The following section explains the grandparents’ rights during these cases and possible outcomes.
- As stated earlier, grandparents may take custody when both parents have passed away.
- Cases where the parents are unfit because of substance abuse or alcohol lead to the grandparents taking custody.
- If the parents are divorced and can’t come up with a custody arrangement, the grandparents have a chance to step in and take custody.
- When the parents can’t be found for court proceedings, the grandparents have a chance to take the children.
- If there is a child protective services case and the caseworker decides the only way to keep the child safe is by putting them in the grandparents’ care, custody will be awarded to the grandparents.
- If the children are old enough to tell the judge where they want to live, they may be sent to live with grandparents. However, the children must express this in front of the judge. Additionally, if they make other requests but those parties aren’t available to take custody, the grandparents would be granted custody by default.
- If one or both of the parents go to prison, the judge can grant the grandparents custody and send the children to live with them.
- If a young mother gives birth and can barely take care of herself, or lives with the grandparents, then the grandparents may be awarded custody temporarily.
- If a single mother needs time to get on her feet, the judge may award temporary custody to the grandparents.
Honestly, grandparents have more rights than most people think. This can be a good situation for the children, especially coming from a broken home or worse.
Grandparents can petition for custody at any time. However, there’s never a guarantee they’ll win, and the decision depends on the situation of the parents.