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Can A Grandparent Gain Custody In Family Court?

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If you are a grandparent and want to become the guardian of your grandchild, you have many different circumstances in which you may claim custody rights. These cases can be tricky, and you may wonder what kind of circumstances may let you make a child custody claim.

Of course even if the child is in a dangerous situation, this does not mean that taking custody is instantaneous. You may need to come to court to prove that you should have custody of your grandchildren. Here are some of the reasons why a grandparent may be granted custody rights in a court of family law.


If the child's parents or custodial parent is in prison or jail, you may be able to take custody of the children. This is especially beneficial when the other option for the child is to enter foster care and become a ward of the state.

Economic Limitations

Some parents may not have the financial means to care for a child. As much as they might love their child, they may not be able to afford rent, groceries, and health insurance. As a grandparent, you may receive custody if you can demonstrate you have the means.

Medical Conditions

It's also possible that the custodial parent of the child has a medical condition that makes it more difficult for him or her to care for the child. You may have more physical means to provide full-time care.


Parents can be incapacitated in other ways. For example, they may be physically or mentally unable to provide care. They could experience mental illness they need to receive treatment for, for instance.

Substance Abuse

Some parents may need to receive substance abuse treatment before they can be safe, loving parents for a child. Temporary guardianship is something grandparents may be able to obtain during this time.

Child Abuse or Neglect

A parent who has been accused of child abuse or neglect could find themselves in a situation where they are about to lose custody. This means that you may be in a position where you need to petition the courts to receive custody of the child in spite of an ongoing criminal case.

Speak With a Family Law Attorney

If you think that you should have custody of your grandchildren, it is important that you speak with a family law attorney. Family law attorneys have experience with cases like yours, and they can make strong claims as to why you should become a child's guardian.