Grandparents play a vital role in any child’s life. There may be times when for the well-being and safety of your grandchildren some kind of legal custody makes sense. Knowing your options and rights is the first step. Let’s take a closer look at legal custody, guardianship and adoption.
Legal Custody for Guidance and Primary Care
Legal custody is the starting place for many grandparents. A legal custody order is granted by a judge upon proper proof that the parent is unfit. These decisions are made on the best interest for the child or children. Parents retain the right to visitation. It is important to remember that legal custody is not permanent. If a parent can show that he or she is now prepared to care for the child, the custody may be returned to the actual parent.
Guardianship for Added Authority
Guardianship and legal custody have many similarities. Both are granted by a judge and require the grandparent(s) to assume daily care for the child. In fact, in many parts of the country, people use these two terms interchangeably. Therefore, it’s important to check with your legal advisor to determine the right type of custody for your situation and location. Guardianship may include a more permanent status and added authority.
Adoption for Maximum Responsibility and Stability
Adoption, of course, is the most comprehensive option. In order for an adoption of grandchildren to take place, the parent(s) must give up all parental rights or have them revoked. In the case of an adoption, the grandparent becomes the legal parent and assumes all responsibilities. Parents are not able to request custody later. This situation benefits grandparents wanting to assume the complete role of parent and looking to provide maximum stability.
Deciding to obtain custody or legal guardianship of your grandchildren can be a stressful process. Instead of going it alone, trust the experts. Give us a call at Bosserman Law and we’ll help you find the best solution that safeguards the well-being of your grandchildren.