Previous posts on this blog have talked about how it is hard, although not impossible, for grandparents to get custody of their grandchildren when the child’s parents are in the picture, even if the parents are not the best mother and father for the child.
The reason it is more difficult for grandparents to get custody, or even grandparent visitation, is that the Constitution of the United States, at least according to the United States Supreme Court, give parents special privileges to raise their own children. The court has even equated this privilege to a fundamental right.
For this reason, whether it be the state, a child’s grandparents or another friend or relative, a person cannot just come in and remove children from the care of a willing and able parent via a custody proceeding, even if they would be able to afford the child a better life. It is only when the court is firmly convinced that putting a child in the care of a parent would hurt the child that a court can consider other options for child custody.
However, there are some situations in which Phoenix grandparents are able to get custody of their grandchildren. Not only would they be suitable when the child’s parents are either dead or literally not capable of caring for themselves or their children, such as when a parent is disabled or in jail, grandparent custody may also be possible in situations involving severe drug addiction or other, similar issues.
However, because these cases are complicated and difficult, grandparents who are planning to seek custody of their grandchildren would be wise to enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney.