Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

Grandparents CAN Get Full Child Custody Of A Minor Grandchild

As the show 'Teen Mom' has enjoyed ratings and popularity growth with its documenting of relationship issues and parenting challenges, many viewers have watched as one of the teenagers signs child custody of her infant son over to his maternal grandmother.
Fans have often wondered two things while watching the series: first, there has been curiosity about how realistic it is for a grandparent to modify child custody and take on the official rights and responsibilities of raising a minor child; and second, viewers have questioned whether or not the baby's grandmother was breaking any laws when she tried for full child custody of her grandson.
In truth, this type of family arrangement happens more than most might think thus showing that grandparent rights can be exercised if it is in the best interests of the minor child.
Why would a family law court decide that an adolescent might have a better chance at a normal childhood if he lived with his grandparents over his own mother or father? As can be seen in the situation of the teenaged mother on "Teen Mom," sometimes the biological parent is just too young and inexperienced to provide adequate care to the child.
A well known talk show host continuously corroborates this fact as he says "babies shouldn't be making babies" - in other words, those who are not mentally and physically equipped to handle the tasks associated with the full time care of an infant should therefore not be engaging in the type of behavior that could place them in precisely that situation.
Drug and alcohol abuse on the part of the parents also plays a major role in why a grandparent is presented with the opportunity to gain custody of their grandchild.
A family law judge who has evidence of substance abuse but still permits a child to reside with parents who aren't in a sober state of mind knows he is putting the child's life in danger as the adolescent plays and runs around in the unsafe environment.
Therefore, when shown the proper documentation that parent are imbibing the judge will then make sure the child is not in the custody of the unfit individuals and instead will make immediate arrangements for the grandparents to take over the childrearing duties if they are willing and able to do so.
What other factors in a biological parent's life would be cause for a family law judge to award legal custody to a grandparent? Parents who become a part of the "missing persons" list are liable to lose custody of their minor children.
This can happen for two reasons: one, the parent has chosen to run away and take the minor child along for the trip, resulting in kidnapping charges (sometimes across state lines) and time behind bars as punishment.
Second, the parent may skip out of town without taking the minor child.
Both of these scenarios leave the minor child alone and desolate, which opens the way for the grandparent to file for child custody.
When a protective order is issued against one or both biological parents, a judge will often look to the grandparents to become the new legal guardians of the minor child.
How does a protective order play a part in child custody and visitation arrangements? An order of this kind is granted because a parent is violent and/or abusive, hence putting the life of the minor child and quite possibly the other parent into danger.
The protective order is designed to keep the asking party safe from the other person.
Yet, there are those times when both parents have violent and volatile tendencies, and they each need to file for a protective order against the other.
In situations such as these, both parents are not in any state to take care of a child in which case a judge will turn to the grandparents to help solve the problem.
At times the subject of adoption will enter the equation.
But unless it is really necessary to place the child with adoptive parents, the courts will award primary legal custody to a grandparent if that grandparent is willing to take over the childbearing duties.
What happens if the exact opposite situation occurs, and it is the biological parents who do not want the grandparents to have child visitation rights with their grandchildren? Unfortunately for the grandparents, child visitation laws do not state that it is mandatory for the parent to give the grandparent time to spend with the child.
Keeping the best interests of the minor child at heart is the way to go when it comes to making decisions on his upbringing.

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