If you are a grandparent who is in the middle of a custody battle you may be wondering what your rights are. The rights of the grandparents are not the same as those of the parents in a custody battle. As a grandparent during a custody battle, what are your rights?
Most states limit the grandparent’s rights during a custody battle except for in certain circumstances. If the child’s parents have died, found to be unfit, if the parents give the grandparents custody, or if the child has lived with the grandparents for a year or more, then the grandparents have every right to obtain custody of the child.
Another common scenario that could warrant a grandparent’s involvement in a custody battle would be divorce. In this case, grandparents can request visitation rights to see a grandchild that they are close with. Most states decide on granting the grandparents visitation based on the welfare of the child. If the court feels that allowing the child to see the grandparents can be bad for the child then they do not have to allow visitation rights to the grandparents.
Other states base their decision on the parent’s opinion. This allows the parents to control who they see fit to see their child. In this situation, grandparents may find it more difficult to see their grandchildren if a marriage has ended and the parents are limiting the child to see certain family members.
All states allow grandparents to have some visitation with their grandchildren as long as it is in the child’s best interest. You would need to prove to the court that you have a close bond with your grandchild and that you have a caring relationship.
If you feel that your grandchild is better off living with you and not their parents then you may face a difficult task. You may need to prove that the parents of the child are unfit and that you would be better off having the child. You would also need to prove that you are healthy enough to care for the child, have a safe home for the child, and be financially able to care for the child.
No matter what your situation is as a grandparent in a custody battle you do have rights. You can file a petition to the court to request visitations or full custody of your grandchild in certain circumstances.