10.12.18 | Family Law

Grandparents Over Parents – When Can Grandparents Get Custody?

There can come a time in a parent’s life where they realize that their son or daughter just isn’t a good parent to their grandchildren. Yet, as long as a child has one parent in their life that is willing to take custody, it can be difficult to wrest that away even for grandparents. However, there are certain circumstances in which the grandparents can be granted custody even over a parent.

If you’re a grandparent that is looking to get your grandchildren away from a bad parenting situation, consider the following.

Valid Concerns for Grandparents’ Custody

Concerns about parenting styles do not always necessarily merit a case for grandparent custody. The parenting style of yesteryear has changed, in some cases, dramatically. What parents once did to raise their children can now be considered abuse; so if you don’t agree with your child’s parenting style it doesn’t necessarily mean custody can be granted to a grandparent. That said, there are valid concerns that could fuel a custody case for a grandparent to take custody of grandchildren.

  • Abandonment

    If there is one parent around that takes care of a child, they’ll always have the strongest case for custody. However, when both parents take off, grandparents are well within their rights to seek it. Furthermore, if a grandparent can prove that a child is left alone for long periods without adequate care or supervision, they can seek custody.

  • Emotional or Physical Abuse

    If there is abuse going on in the household, then it is in everyone’s best interest to get the child out of there. However, while physical abuse is easier for a grandparent to prove because it leaves marks, emotional abuse can be just as damaging. However, emotional abuse is harder to prove and thus harder to get custody for.

  • Sexual Abuse

    There is nothing more heinous than sexual abuse of a child, especially by a parent. The courts view it the same, but as with all other concerns, it all comes down to proving it happened.

  • Neglect

    This is an issue that can come in a hundred different forms. It can be not giving a child adequate food all the way to not giving them adequate attention. Typically neglect can be discerned by child services; it can start a custody issue before the grandparents decide to seek it.

  • Substance Abuse

    A parent need not be letting their child engage in substances for it to be abuse. Alternatively, a parent using does not always mean custody can be taken away. It all comes down to how substance use affects the child.

Seeking Custody as Grandparents

Filing for custody as a grandparent is a relatively straight-forward process that you can start with a family law attorney. However, unlike with parental custody, it is a difficult case to win for grandparents. If the authorities such as social services are unaware of the abuse, an investigation could go a long way to help your case. However, things will be even more difficult if the investigation does not turn any signs of abuse.

Even if a grandparent does manage to get a case for children to be removed from the custody of their parents approved, it also merits noting that the grandparents may not be granted custody. They may seem like the natural next best choice, but it still needs to be proven that their custody is in the best interest of the child.

Are you a grandparent seeking custody of your grandchildren or a parent seeking the same, then contact us today. If you want to do right by your family, we can help make that happen.

Work With Our Miami County Legal Team

Whatever your demands, Dungan & LeFevre is the full-service law firm you need. We can help you explore your options, guide you through challenges, and represent you in court. You can rely on our experience and knowledge to steer you to your best decision for the most reasonable price. Get started with a consultation.