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What rights do grandparents have in custody cases?

While examining parental custody cases, one thought that comes to mind is the role of grandparents have in the lives of their grandchildren. When both parents are unfit for custody, grandparents are sometimes required to step in and take on the role that the child’s parents would usually have. You should understand the specific custody processes for grandparents in order to be fully aware of what rights you have. 

There is a difference between grandparent visitation requirements and custody requirements. While you may go through a lengthy process in order to prove you are a fit guardian, it is a simpler process if you only wish to gain visitation rights. One of the most important parts of this process is to prove that your presence in the child’s life is in the child’s best interest. This law applies to every state, and in addition, in some states you must prove that you have a previous relationship with the child. 

If you visited or cared for the child in the past, that is also seen as a positive sign that you are fit for guardianship. In order to gain custody, you must be prove you are able to physically care for the child and that the child’s parents are unable to properly care for him or her. If both parents have died, some states also specifically consider the grandparent’s right to potentially care for the child as a guardian. 

Child custody cases can be a source of confusion for grandparents, but they can also provide a chance for visitation or custody of your grandchild. It is important to make sure you fully understand the possibilities for taking care of your family. 

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