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When can grandparents request custody of their grandchild?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Child Custody |

Courts see various cases with unique circumstances, potentially requiring special arrangements. Sometimes, the judge could allow the children’s grandparents to seek legal custody or visitation. This provision might only be possible under dire circumstances and if this setup is in the child’s best interests. If not, the court may look for other options to ensure the child receives proper care.

Grandparents could request for the following custody types over their grandchild, depending on the situation:

Partial custody and visitation

This option is often possible if one of the following conditions apply:

  • The grandchild’s parent died.
  • The parents are divorced or have been separated for six months.
  • The grandchild has lived with the grandparents for at least 12 months and left the home because of the parents’ intervention.

These qualifications could affect eligibility but do not guarantee approval of the request.

Physical and legal custody

The grandparent may request for this arrangement if they meet all these conditions:

  • They have proven genuine care and concern for the grandchild.
  • The grandparent-grandchild relationship began with the parents’ consent or a court order.
  • The grandparent has cared for the child for a minimum of 12 months, took responsibility when the child became dependent under Child Protective Services, or there is reason to believe that the grandchild’s welfare is at risk.

The court may consider various factors when assessing risks impacting the child’s safety, such as incidents of abuse, neglect or mental illness.

Seeking custody out of necessity

Sometimes, a lot is at stake when grandparents wish to adopt their grandchild. If safety risks exist, the request must include these details to receive a prompt reply from the court. Ultimately, the court will always respond in the children’s best interests, considering their urgent needs.