Custody Disputes With A Grandparent: What You Need To Know


Even in the best circumstances, child custody law disputes can be emotionally draining. If your child's other parent is unable to care for your child, you may find yourself embroiled in a custody dispute with your child's grandparent. Or your own parents may want custody if they don't agree with your child-rearing practices. Read on to learn important information regarding a custody dispute with a grandparent. 

1. The Court Gives Preference to Parents Over Grandparents

It is extremely rare that a grandparent would be awarded custody over a living parent. Preference always goes to a parent. This rule applies even if the grandparent would be a seemingly better caregiver than the parent. Unless the parent is neglectful, abusive, or otherwise deemed unfit, the parent would not lose custody simply because their parenting strategies need improvement. 

Grandparents who do have custody of their grandchildren generally receive custody through child protective services once the children are removed from their parental home. Rather than place the children in foster care, there is a strong attempt to place the kids with relatives. If the parents cannot or do not take the proper steps to get their children back, the grandparents may receive permanent custody.

2. If a Custodial Parent Dies, Grandparents Are Not Necessarily Awarded Custody

In some situations, one parent may have sole physical of the custody. The other parent may have visitation rights or may not actively be in the child's life. If this custodial parent dies, custody does not automatically go to the grandparents on the custodial parent's side.

Instead, the non-custodial parent will typically have the opportunity to get custody of their child. This rule applies even if the non-custodial parent has not previously been involved in the child's life. Some exceptions may be made if the child was previously living with the grandparents or if the child is old enough to voice an opinion regarding their living arrangements.

3. Grandparents May Be Awarded Visitation

Laws regarding so-called grandparent parent rights vary dramatically from state to state. Some states do not recognize the rights of grandparents to have contact with their grandchildren, while others may permit ordered visitation during specific circumstances. Note that grandparents may be awarded visitation privileges, not custody, under these rights. 

The states that do have some type of grandparent rights generally require that the child previously had regular contact with the grandparent. A stable, long-term relationship between the grandparent and grandchild is advantageous for procuring visitation rights. Courts will consider multiple factors, including how visitation would affect the relationship between the parent and child.


21 September 2018

Understanding General Attorney Services

Hi there, my name is John Michaels. Welcome to my website about general attorney services. When I was wrapped up in a neighborhood dispute, I decided to consult with a general attorney to receive guidance and support. The attorney helped me understand how to best proceed with the dispute to achieve a mutually-acceptable resolution. Through this experience, I was inspired to share information about the services provided by general attorneys. I invite you to visit my site daily to learn about these important service offerings and their role in your dispute resolution activities. Thank you for coming to visit my site.