As this blog has discussed previously, grandparents who are concerned about the well-being of their grandchildren may be able to get child custody over them in certain situations.
Although it cannot be invoked in all circumstances, the ability to obtain custody is one of the most important among grandparents' rights, as it could mean that a Phoenix, Arizona, grandparent can save their grandchild from a dangerous situation.
Generally speaking, when one or both of the child's parents are in the picture, a grandparent is only going to be able to obtain an order for custody in the case of abuse or neglect. While they should be warned that that it is rare to find a smoking gun proving that child abuse or neglect has occurred, there are several warning signs a grandparent might notice which could confirm or alleviate their concerns about their grandchildren.
For example, a child has suffered from abuse may seem very reluctant to go home or may also show a tendency toward bruising or getting hurt. When happening on an ongoing basis and when they are not explainable, then these observations may be a sign of child abuse.
Likewise, a child who seems very worried about making a mistake or who has behavior that is not age appropriate may have suffered from emotional abuse. Signs of neglect include poor hygiene or poor clothing.
If a grandparent suspects neglect or abuse, they should consider calling the appropriate authorities, particularly if they think the child is ongoing danger. They may also consider contacting a family law attorney with experience helping Arizona grandparents protect and provide for their grandchildren.