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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

When Grandparents Seek Child Custody

by Gina Hill

As a grandparent, it's heartbreaking to acknowledge that your grandchild is not receiving adequate care. Ultimately, however, grandparents can sometimes realize that they must step in and care for that grandchild. Grandparents today have more rights about the care, visitation, and custody of their grandchildren than ever before, and it may be necessary for you to assert your rights and seek custody of your grandchild. The family courts don't take custody changes lightly, so knowing what the judge is looking for when it comes to child custody can make a big difference in how you approach the child custody hearing. Read on to learn more about how the judge determines child custody for grandparents.

What are good reasons to seek custody?

Most parents experience problems from time to time, but when the problems turn severe, it could signal time to take legal action. The below list is just a few of the more common parenting issues that could mean a custody hearing is called for:

  • The parent is deceased.
  • The parent is incarcerated.
  • The parent is abusing the child.
  • The parent is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.
  • The parent is suffering from mental illness.
  • The parent is physically unable to parent, such as those hospitalized long-term or physically incapacitated.

With most of the issues above, the judges will rule in favor of child custody for the grandparents unless there are others who are seeking custody. Keep in mind that you must prove your allegations of abuse and addiction with police reports or other hard evidence.

Best Interest of the Child

The family courts and the judges presiding over them are charged with the heavy responsibility of searching out solutions to issues that take the best interest of the child into consideration. The favored option for custody, taking the best interest of the child into account, is always to place the child with their biological parent. As a grandparent, it will be challenging, but not impossible to overcome that edict and be awarded custody. You should be prepared to show your fitness as a custodial grandparent by the following:

  1. Are you prepared to provide a clean, healthy, nurturing home for the child?
  2. Can you provide food, medical care, clothing, education, social, and recreational opportunities?
  3. Do you already have a good relationship with the child? Have you spent time together?
  4. Are you in good physical and mental health?
  5. Are you prepared to deal with the emotional issues that this change could bring in your grandchild's life?
  6. Finally, does the child wish to live with you? Children who are old enough to be interviewed may be questioned or they may be evaluated by a special type of court-appointed mental health expert.

Be sure to speak with a family law attorney for expert advice on seeking grand-parental child custody.

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