While it is usually better for children to live with their own parents, there are times when this is not safe or healthy for the kids. In a situation like this, the grandparents might step in and try to obtain legal custody of the children, but the courts do not generally award custody unless there is enough evidence to prove that the current living situation is unsafe. If you want to try to get custody of your grandkids, here are two major factors that will affect your ability to do this.
The Views of the Parents
In some cases, grandparents might be able to complete this process quite easily, but this only occurs if the parents are willing to relinquish their rights. If the parents of the children can freely admit that they cannot handle raising the kids, or the parents simply do not want them, the process will be easier.
The court will not simply hand the kids over to you if this happens, but it will make the process faster, easier, and cheaper. The hardest part will be for you to prove that you can provide a good life for the kids. You will need to prove that you have a safe home for them, financial means to support them with, and stability.
If the parents are not eager to sign them off, this process may prove difficult for you. In this case, you will need to also prove that it is not in the best interest of the kids to let them live with their parents. The court does not view these allegations lightly, and your lawyer will probably tell you that. There must be substantial proof that your claims are true, and here are some examples of reasons the courts may grant you legal custody:
- The home is unsafe, hazardous, or unhealthy – If the home does not have heat or running water, or if there is animal feces everywhere, you could prove that this environment is not safe by taking pictures. You could also get witnesses to back your claims.
- The parents are involved in illegal habits – There are times when grandparents seek custody because the parents are drug dealers or users, or because they are alcoholics. These are all good reasons for the court to grant custody to you.
If you are still interested in gaining legal rights to these kids, talk to a lawyer that handles child custody issues. The lawyer will help you understand your rights, and he or she will help you file a petition with the court system. Visit sites like www.lawyersinarizona.com for more information.