Whether it is because of illness, incapacity, or inability to provide for the care of the children, grandparents may need to obtain custody. However, gaining permanent custody over a grandchild may not be necessary.

In Alpharetta, grandparents have the option of obtaining temporary custody of a grandchild. Our team can help guide you through the process, so you can rest assured that your grandchild’s needs are met.

When Might a Grandparent Obtain Temporary Custody of a Grandchild?

Typically, parents have the legal right to care for and decide what is best for their children. When parents are unable to care for their children, however, a third party may be granted temporary custody. In these situations, courts will consider the parent’s rights against what is in the child’s best interest.

Some situations in which grandparents may obtain temporary custody of grandchildren include:

  • Both parents are determined to be unfit;
  • Both parents give consent;
  • Abuse or neglect in the parent’s home; or
  • Mental illness of a parent.

The court will make its decisions based on the best interests of the child. If the grandparents have been acting as the parents prior to seeking custody, this may weigh heavily in their favor.

In some cases, the parents may voluntarily relinquish custody of the child to the grandparents. This makes the process smoother, but grandparents must still show that they are the best person to care for the child, particularly if there are other relatives seeking custody.

The Legal Process and the Child Welfare Agency

Typically, the first step for a grandparent wishing to obtain temporary custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta is to file a petition for custody. This petition is filed with the court, and then a hearing will be scheduled.

The child will likely have a guardian ad litem assigned to them who will make recommendations to the court regarding the best interests of the child. The judge will then evaluate all the evidence and make a determination regarding the best arrangement for the child.

Often, when temporary custody is at issue, grandparents will have to go through an investigative process with the Child Welfare Agency. The welfare department can make a recommendation for the grandparents to obtain temporary custody after evaluating them through home visits and determining their ability to care for the child.

Death of a Custodial Parent

Typically, when a custodial parent dies, the child is placed with the other parent. If the other parent is unable or unwilling to care for child, the next choice will be grandparents or another close relative. Again, courts will generally decide based on what is in the child’s best interest. Some factors that can favor the grandparents include:

  • The grandchild was already living with the grandparent
  • The child wishes to live with the grandparent
  • The parents left a will naming the grandparent as the guardian

Courts will also consider the age, health, and financial situation of the grandparent when assessing how well they can care for their grandchild in a temporary custody arrangement.

Contact an Alpharetta Attorney to Learn about Obtaining Temporary Custody of a Grandchild

Obtaining temporary custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta can be a difficult process. Ultimately, a court must balance the parents’ rights and the best interests of the child.

Our attorneys are passionate about helping grandparents in Alpharetta obtain temporary custody of their grandchildren in times of need. Call today to set up an appointment with a member of our team to learn more.

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