The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren can be very special. The bond that they share may lead grandparents to seek custody of their grandchildren in certain circumstances. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
There may be times when the parents aren’t capable of caring for their children. They might have health problems or financial issues. It’s also possible that they just don’t know how to be a good parent. That’s why understanding the situations in which grandparents may receive temporary or permanent custody is important for parents and grandparents alike.
Grandparents may seek custody for these reasons
These are some key reasons why grandparents may choose to seek custody of their grandchildren.
- The parents are deemed unfit. In order to determine if the parents are able to provide the required amount of care under the law, the court must conduct a fitness hearing. This might happen if the social services agency files a lawsuit to revoke parental rights due to problems like neglect, abuse or abandonment.
- The parents consent to a transfer of custody. If parents are unable to care for their children and do not anticipate that situation changing, they may be entitled to permanently transfer custody to the children’s grandparents. However, If they know that their current situation will be rectified in the future, they may consider a temporary transfer of custody.
- The parents pass away. When tragedy strikes and both parents pass away unexpectedly, the grandparents may petition the court for custody of their grandchildren. If they are named as the legal guardians of the children in the parents’ will, custody should be transferred fairly easily. If they are not named as legal guardians, they will have to petition the court for custody.
Grandparents who wish to seek custody of their grandchildren should consider seeking advice to help them through the process.