How To Help Your Case For Grandparent's Rights

Law Blog

Grandparent's rights are a complicated issue. While every state is different and has its own take on the rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren (or even gain custody) over a parent's objections, the reality is that grandparents are not on the same legal footing as a child's biological parents.

Generally speaking, the law presumes that a parent is acting in the best interests of a child -- unless you can prove otherwise. If you're a grandparent who is seeking access to or custody of a grandchild, here are some tips that can help your case:

1. You have to be mentally prepared to use every situation.

This can be difficult for a lot of grandparents -- especially if they're trying to wrestle custody or visitation rights over their own child's objections. However, there are plenty of situations that can give you an advantage in court -- but only if you're willing to use them.

For example, if any of the following are true, you can bring these facts to the court's attention and tilt the odds of success in your favor:

  • The parent (or parents) have a problem with alcohol or drugs.
  • There have been incidents of child abuse or child neglect in the past.
  • The parent has been convicted of a crime and the child is living with other relatives.
  • The parent has a mental illness that affects his or her ability to parent.
  • The parent has gotten involved with a partner who is abusive, an addict, or otherwise a threat to the child.

While you never want to allege anything that isn't true, these kinds of situations can open the door for you to step in and strengthen your legal claim toward your grandchild.

2. You need to keep good records from the very start.

One of the things that a judge considers when granting a grandparent legal rights to visitation or custody of a child is any pre-existing connection or bond the grandparent shares with the child. Since the odds are good that the problems with the child's parents didn't develop overnight, you need to think strategically from the start.

Keep a notebook of every interaction you have with your grandchild -- what you talked about, where you went, what you provided. Keep receipts for things you purchased for your grandchild, especially necessities like clothes, shoes, and diapers. Keep track of how often you babysat or took over some parenting functions because your grandchild's own parents weren't available for some reason.

Seeking legal access or custody of your grandchildren may put you on an emotional rollercoaster, but it will be worth it in the end if you succeed. An attorney who offers grandparents' rights law services can help you understand more about your legal options.


19 June 2019

File Chapter 7, and Keep Your Home

Many people assume that when they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will have to give up their homes and other property. This is not necessarily the case. I am a bankruptcy attorney, and I have helped many clients file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without giving up homes, cars, and other property. When you file for bankruptcy, the property you are allowed to keep depends on your individual circumstances and the state where you live. Most states allow exemption for property you are currently paying for. This blog will guide you through that information and help you determine if filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for you.