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How a grandparent can get custody of a grandchild

Many grandparents feel that it would be best for a child if they obtained legal custody. While this may be something that some consider, it is easier said than done.

Generally speaking, there are two ways to get legal custody of a grandchild:

— If the parent(s) of the child sign a power of attorney that hands over the ability to make decisions for the child.

— Go to court to fight for custody. In this case, it is required that you file a lawsuit in which you ask the court to grant you custody.

There are many details associated with filing a lawsuit. To be in position to do so, you must be able to prove the following:

— That the grandchild has lived with you for a minimum of six months.

— A court has previously named you guardian of the child.

— Ability to prove that the child is being harmed by his or her current living conditions or those who are caring for the child.

— Both of the parents, a surviving parent, or a conservator must agree that it is best for the child to live with you.

There are times when a grandparent can get legal custody of a grandchild or grandchildren. In some cases, this is simple as the child’s parents agree. Conversely, there are times when a lawsuit must be filed in order to start the process.

If a grandparent is interested in this, he or she should understand the law, the challenges, and what types of details may come up along the way.

Source: Texas Law Help, “Grandparents' Rights,” accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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