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When can a grandparent receive custody of a grandchild?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2019 | Child Custody |

Grandparents are often important figures in their grandchildren’s lives. In some cases, a grandparent’s role might be even more essential when they seek custody of their grandchild. Although it can be a difficult battle when a grandparent fights for custody, it’s not an impossible one.

Child custody eligibility

It’s important to the growth and development of a child that they remain under the care of their parents. Ideally, a court will award custody to at least one available parent, especially when it fulfills a child’s best interests. However, there are some circumstances in which a grandparent can be awarded primary custody of their grandchild. These instances include:

  • If a child’s parents are deemed unfit
  • If a child’s parents are deceased
  • If a child’s parents consent to grandparent custody

Challenges grandparents may face

Even if you have the clearance to pursue primary custody of your grandchild, there are obstacles you might face in the process. An Alabama court will consider any of the following options when deciding child custody:

  • Your relationship to your grandchild
  • Another family member’s relationship to your grandchild
  • Your age, health and financial ability to support your grandchild

Proving your case

If both parents are alive but unfit to care for their child, you may have to find strong evidence that points to this inability to provide for their child. This might include signs of physical child abuse or neglect, as well as substance abuse or mental illness in the parent.

In addition to proving a parent’s unfitness, you will also have to prove your physical and mental wellness and financial stability. A judge may also look at your living environment and how far your home is from your grandchild’s school, job or friends.

While winning custody of your grandchild may seem daunting, it isn’t an unattainable goal. If you need help building a case, an experienced family law attorney can answer your questions and help you find the best possible results for your grandchild.