If your grandchild’s biological parents are unfit to care for him or her, you as a grandparent may want to step forward to seek custody.
Maybe, the child’s parents realize that you are better able to raise the child. The parents may request that you stand in loco parentis (Latin for “in the place of a parent”). In other words, you would assume a parental role with their consent. In these situations, there is a good chance the judge will grant you custody.
However, the process is more difficult when the biological parent also wants to care for the child. They are legally entitled to have custody, unless they are unfit or unable to provide proper care.
You can obtain custody of your grandchild if you can show that staying with the biological parents would put him or her in harm’s way. You cannot seek custody simply because you don’t like their parenting choices. Rather, threats to a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing include things like abandonment, lack of basic care, physical neglect, emotional abuse, and other issues are reason for seeking help from the court. You must show the court proof that the child is at risk. Documentation might include medical records, school records, and witness reports. An experienced family law attorney can help you obtain this documentation.
Client Story: A Grandmother Reunites with Her Granddaughter
We helped a client fight for primary custody of her granddaughter after the loss of her son to illness. Where she had previously been in her grandchild’s life daily, she was now limited to seeing her once every couple of weeks. We were able to present to the court why the child should reside with her grandmother and not the child’s mother. We not only got our client a favorable outcome and reunited her with her granddaughter, but we were able to ease her emotional anxiety while going through the process.
Note: If your grandchild is in immediate danger, call the police immediately. If everyone is safe and you are concerned that your grandchild’s parents are being neglectful or abusive, we can help. Call Petrelli Previtera Schimmel at 215-523-6900 to discuss your options.