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Can grandparents have custody of their grandchildren?

A divorcing couple could face various challenges when addressing matters concerning their child, potentially involving extended family members, such as the child’s grandparents. Sometimes, it could be an option for the court to grant grandparents child custody. However, it significantly depends on the circumstances.

Essentially, grandparents could get child custody if the related parent passed on, the child has been living with them for at least a year, or the child’s parents started a custody action. In some cases, the court could find granting custody to grandparents as the best option to benefit the child’s welfare. However, a judge might only allow it if the case meets specific conditions, including the following:

  • The child is dependent and faces risks of neglect or abuse due to various factors, such as mental illness or substance abuse.
  • The child has already been residing with their grandparents for a minimum of 12 months.

In these instances, grandparents could request custody. The court could grant it, but it still depends on whether other more viable options exist and if it is in the child’s best interest.

Can other family members have custody of the child?

Sometimes, extended family members, including uncles and aunts, could get child custody. However, it could depend on their contributions to the child’s upbringing for a specific duration. Most of the time, neglected or abandoned children might go to Children and Youth Services if there are no other options.

Prioritizing the child’s needs

Regarding child custody matters, the judge becomes the child’s advocate and decides based on their best interests. Sometimes, children risk exposure to unsafe living conditions and severe disputes between parents. These unique circumstances could warrant special arrangements, giving grandparents custody as needed.

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