Most people familiar with these laws agree awarding in favor of the grandparents is hard to obtain, not impossible if under the right circumstances though. Each state has its own laws regarding the rights g-ma and g-pa is entitled to.
Considering parents have a fundamental right to the care, obtain and management of their kids, the G-parents have much to prove to gain custody. To understand the law regarding you and your situation you must know the law in your state. This is general information for you to refer to, not the law.
That being said grandparents could be awarded when:
- A parent or both parents die.
- Parent's divorce
- Parents separate.
- Grandparents have maintained control over the grandchild for a certain period of time usually for at least a year.
- The grandchild lacks adequate parental care from both biological parents.
- Abuse such as child abuse, drug or alcohol abuse by the parents.
- Mental illness of parents or parent.
Custody is defined as to care, nurture, and provide for a grandchild.
There are 2 types of custody, legal and physical.
*Sole legal - if sole legal is awarded this allows the G-parent to have say over matters involving the child's health, education, choice of religion, medical choices, daily activities etc. This type of custody gives no such rights to another.
*Joint legal - if awarded allows both parties to make the daily decisions mentioned above (and any others) that is necessary for the well being of the child.
*Physical - physical refers to whom your grand child will live with. There are different types of physical:
1) Sole physical - when a child lives only with you.
2) Joint physical - when a child splits living between both parties.
You must understand that if you are awarded legal custody, you still may not be awarded physical.
Grandparents may file a petition for a grandchild if and only if the court determines:
- If it is in the best interests of the child,
- If g-ma and g-pa truly care and have concern for the child,
- The relationship between the grandparents and the child began with the consent of a parent or pursuant to a court order,
- Grandparents assumed the full role of the parent for 1 year or more, or proper care was already determined to be lacking, or there was abuse.
Winning rights can also be awarded in the form of Partial rights. Partial rights enable grandparents to have visiting rights without the other parties permission or supervision. Or you may receive supervised visitation rights. Visitation is usually not denied to grandparents unless there is valid reason.
Obtaining an award for grandparents is complex and difficult needless to say it can also be expensive and exhausting.
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