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Factors involved in grandparent custody

Some grandparents in Georgia might be interested in obtaining custody of their grandchildren. This depends on the specific situation and, in some cases, the grandchild's preference. However, if the child's parents challenge the request, the courts may consider their right to custody as superior to that of the grandparents.

Sometimes, parents and grandparents enter into a voluntary arrangement giving the grandparents custody. Problems with custody issues can occur when the parents challenge that agreement. In such cases, both the grandparents and the parents are required to show why the child's best interests might be better served if the child remained in their care. In the case where the child was in the care of the grandparents for a considerable time and considered them as primary caregivers, the grandparents' right to custody may supersede that of the parents. In addition, parents who have not maintained a relationship with their child may have less of an argument against grandparent custody.

Some factors that may be considered include the health and safety of the child and whether the parents or the grandparents meet these needs. In addition, if either the parents or grandparents have neglected or abused the child, this may influence the court's decision. The child's comfort level and acclamation to the community where he or she might live are other considerations.

Grandparents may seek to gain custody by proving the parents are unfit to raise the child. In this case, addiction or mental illness, among other reasons, may be considered by the courts. Grandparents looking to obtain custody of grandchildren may benefit from a discussion with an attorney on current laws concerning this issue. The attorney may help them provide proof that the child's best interests would be served if custody was awarded to them.

Source: American Bar Association, "Obtaining Visitation With or Custody Of Grandchildren ", Jeff Atkinson, accessed on March 17, 2015

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