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How Can a Grandparent Obtain Custody?


Custody can generally be defined as the rights and privileges parents have to raise their child, both physically and legally. Parents are the biological or legal guardians of the child. While grandparents are related to the child, they have limited legal rights when it comes to custody. So unless the parents of a child have given the grandparents express permission and legal rights to custody, grandparents must file a lawsuit to gain rights.

How can I get custody of my grandchild?

While grandparents do not have express legal rights, all states have come to recognize the value that grandparents have in the lives of their grandchildren. There are emotional and developmental benefits for the child when their grandparents are involved in their lives that cannot be ignored. However, since parents have the ultimate right to custody of their child, the needs of the grandparents oftentimes fall behind.

If grandparents seek custody of their grandchildren, they must prove to the court that:

  • The grandchild has lived with them for at least six months
  • The court has legally named a them as the child's guardian
  • The child is being harmed by their current living conditions
  • The child's parents or guardians have agreed to let the child live with them

In addition, grandparents must overcome the parental presumption. This presumption indicates that it is always best for the child to be raised by their parents. If one or both of the child's parents are alive, it must be shown that living with them is especially harmful to the child. For example, showing that there is a history of violence, or that the parents have sent the child to live with someone else can prove that it may be better for the child to live with the grandparents.

In order to obtain custody, the grandparents must show that living with them is in the child's best interests. Seeking custody of your grandchildren? We can help! Call today.