My wife and I are retired, very stable, and very happily married. Our son and his ex-wife are divorced and not stable in any way ranging from employment to psychological. Can we as grand-parents get full custody of their child?
We have been helping raise the child since birth, taking him for weeks at a time while they get it together, get out of jail, get their meds straight, etc. What are the first steps toward doing this?
We are just worried about both parents’ history of making bad and dangerous decisions, but we don’t want to risk that our granddaughter might end up with a foster family.
You need to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction as custody and guardianship guidelines vary from state to state. Your attorney should consider a guardianship action that will allow the child to reside with you and being appointed as your grandchild’s guardian will give you the ability to make decisions regarding the child. Guardianships generally stay in place until they are terminated.
You may also be able to file some type of custody proceeding to request custody of the child; you would be considered a third-party custodian. If the state is involved, you may be able to assert your custodial request in the state action. The state will typically consider placement with a family member before a child will be placed in foster care.
Tiffany A. McFarland is a Senior Attorney and Litigation Manager with Cordell & Cordell, P.C. in the Overland Park, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri offices. Ms. McFarland practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations.
Tiffany is licensed in the state of Missouri and the state of Kansas and is certified as a Guardian ad Litem.