Custody and guardianship determinations are made by the court based on the particular needs of a family. Sometimes, they will look directly at the safety of the child, such as the actions of the parents and if the children have been removed from their parent’s home. Sometimes they may look at permanency factors because the stability of the lives of the children have been threatened. Yes, there are many factors to consider. If you are a grandparent who wants to obtain legal guardianship of your grandchildren, you must go through a complicated process – but one that is not always impossible!
Different situations will call for different options in the realm of obtaining guardianship of a child. Legal guardianship is a big deal because it enables grandparents to care for a minor child and make decisions for them. There are various types of guardianships that may be available to you, based on your circumstances:
Planned Guardianships: In the event that they pass away, parents will sometimes name grandparents of a child as guardians. In these cases, if the circumstances call for it, you may be able to obtain legal guardianship without an attorney. However, sometimes they are necessary because the court will question your ability to care for young children based on health and financial circumstances.
Dependency Cases: The court may choose to appoint you, the grandparent, as a temporary or permanent guardian because the parents were abusing, neglecting, or abandoned their children. The courts prefer to give guardianship to a relative in these cases. However, there are very strict standards you need to meet, and you may have to be part of a home study.
Voluntary Guardianships: A parent may give voluntary guardianship to a grandparent if they believe they cannot care for their child properly. Though a parent must approve of these guardianships, they can take place on a temporary or permanent level.
Contested Guardianships: When you receive guardianship, other family members can still step in if they believe they have a say. For this, you will need an attorney to support your request to take care of your grandchild. It is always important to speak to an attorney in these cases. Call us today for more information on how we can help!