It is quite common for grandparents to raise their grandchildren. If you are in a situation where you are acting as the parent for your grandchild, you may want to seek guardianship of the child.
Guardianship is a legal term that gives grandparents a legal relationship with the child. It is the form of custody that gives grandparents the most rights in making legal decisions for the grandchildren other than adoption.
If you find yourself in the position of raising your grandchild, a skilled attorney can help you understand your options for obtaining guardianship of a grandchild in Alpharetta.
In some cases, the parents of a child may agree to allow the grandparents to have guardianship because they believe that they are not able to care for the child at that time. If the parents agree, it is considered a voluntary guardianship arrangement. To obtain voluntary guardianship both parents must agree in writing to give the grandparent guardianship of the child.
If either of the child’s parents object to the guardianship or another relative contests the grandparent’s guardianship of the child, the process can be more complicated. In these cases, a person may want to seek help from an attorney experienced in obtaining guardianship of a grandchild in Alpharetta.
Becoming the legal guardian of a grandchild comes with the same responsibilities that a parent has to a child. These responsibilities include:
Guardians are usually also responsible for providing information and status reports to the courts or social workers on a periodic basis. As a guardian a grandparent may also be responsible for damages caused by the child if, for example, they are in a car accident or cause damage to property.
Guardianship gives grandparents the legal right to make decisions for the care of their grandchildren including healthcare decisions and decisions about the child’s education. If grandparents do not have legal guardianship the parents may be able to take the children back into their care at any time without going through a legal process. This can be particularly concerning for grandparents who are caring for the grandchildren due to the parents’ mental health or substance abuse issues.
If grandparents have no legal guardianship of the children, it is possible that the child’s parents will reclaim the child and refuse to allow contact or visitation with grandparents. Parents who take back their children after they have been in the care of the grandparent may feel angry at the grandparents or they may be jealous of the relationship the between the children and the grandparents. To understand the potential repercussions, reach out to a well-versed attorney who can help determine whether this is the right choice.
Grandparents want the best for their grandchildren, especially when they are their primary caregiver. If you find yourself in the position of acting as the parent of your grandchild, it is wise to seek legal advice to decide whether you should seek guardianship or some other form of legal custody.
Having guardianship gives you legal rights to make decisions for the child but also comes with a lot of responsibility. Contact a member of our team today to find out more about obtaining guardianship of a grandchild in Alpharetta.