When a family breaks down, it is an ugly looking process. The parents are fighting over every small thing, divorce is on the horizon, and the child simply doesn’t know where to go in order to feel safe and secure. In times of such family crises, where none of the parents are deemed fit to take care of their child or they are not willing enough to do so; the grandparents can step in and become the guardians. But how easy is it? Let us find out.
Grandparents’ guardianship vs. state custody
When a family upheaval threatens to break down the foundations of family life, the Child Services Department has to step forward and remove the child from the situation. In a scenario where the parents are not deemed fit to take care of the child, he/she is often sent to the state custody – and enters a foster care system that might be unreliable at times.
But if the grandparents can step ahead and request to take the child under their wings, it might salvage the child from entering into unknown surroundings and circumstances. Not only that, it is common sense to prefer to leave the child under a trusted relative’s custody rather than putting them in foster care. Overall, grandparents’ guardianship looks more promising than state custody or foster care.
How does this work?
If you are wondering – how do I get guardianship of my grandchild, you have come to the right place. When a state’s DHS removes the child from his/her family home, he/she is automatically placed under the custody of the state and then placed in a foster care until the time a better alternative shows up.
But if you are a grandparent, and willing enough to take care of your grandchild, you can surely apply for his/her legal custody. Note that although legal, the custody is usually for a temporary period. However, once the court approves the grandparents’ custody for the grandchild, it continues until the time someone else can step in and claim the custody for the best interests of the child.
How can this benefit the child?
As a grandparent in custody of your grandchild, you can make major decisions for the latter. Your guardianship can prove to be a blessing if the child suffers from a mental condition or mental health issues.
You can also enroll the child in a school and be entitled to child support. Not only that, your family tie with the child also allows you to better understand the needs of the child and take the right steps to fulfill them.
If the family situation changes, the guardianship may transfer back to the parents. But in a scenario where that’s unlikely to happen, you can also take action to turn your guardianship into adoption.
All you have to do is file a petition in court to gain the custody of the child. In the court hearing, you must also present enough evidence regarding the unfitness of the parents to take care of their child. The court will then investigate thoroughly to decide whether you are an apt guardian. If you are, you will be given your grandchild’s guardianship.
It is not easy – the battle for guardianship – for either the petitioners or the child involved. But it is a necessary step to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing. A grandparent guardianship can certainly ease the process and reduce the trauma of going through tumultuous change for the court as well as the child.
Article Submitted By Community Writer