When Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of a Child?

Parents are legally obligated to take care of their children. However, if something affects their ability to parent responsibly, grandparents will sometimes want to step in and assume that duty. It is not always easy for a grandparent to get custody of their grandchild, but there are some instances in which the court will grant full custody to grandparents. Here we will examine the circumstances that can lead to a grandparent gaining custody.

Some grandparents believe their grandchild would be in a more stable environment if they lived with them, and the court may agree. If both parents are alive, but the court believes both parents are unfit to raise their child, the court may award custody to the grandparents.

In the case of any illegal activity taking place in the parents’ home, any alcohol or drug abuse, or a history of domestic violence, grandparents may be given custody of the child. Should there be proof of neglect in the parent’s residence, this may also warrant the court to decide upon a living arrangement for the child and grandparent.

Mental disability is another case in which grandparents can gain custody of their grandchild. Both parents can also agree to relinquish custody of their child to the grandparent. If one parent is deemed unfit, and the other parent cannot raise the child, the court may put the child in the care of their grandparent.

If a child’s parent dies, the court may take more steps toward finding the child a home before granting custody to the grandparent. Often, the court will decide to put the child in the care of his or her other parent if the custodial parent dies. Even if that child has had minimal to no contact with the other parent prior to their custodial parent’s death, the court may rule that it is what is best for the child.

Grandparents could be awarded custody of the grandchild if they were already living with the child and his or her custodial parent. The grandparent can gain custody if the child chooses to live with them, or if the custodial parent specified the grandparent as the child’s guardian in his or her will.

In addition to the previously mentioned factors, the court will also keep in mind the economic status, health, age, and living conditions of the grandparents before awarding them custody. The custody hearing case will be heard in family court before the court decides their ruling.

If you are looking for a family law attorney in the Grove City area, the lawyers at Jeffrey Buskirk & Associates will be more than happy to assist you with personalized legal counsel.

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