When grandparents are permitted visitation and child custody it is helpful for them to be familiar with how it is determined. Child custody is always based on what is in the best interests of the child and grandparent custody and visitation is also determined based upon what is best for the child.
How child custody for grandparents is determined
There are a variety of factors used to determine what is best for the child and some factors may include:
- The needs of the child, including considerations of physical and emotional health of the child and the safety ad welfare of the child;
- The capability of the grandparents to meet the needs of the child;
- The wishes of the grandparents;
- The wishes of the child, if the child is capable of making decisions for themselves;
- The strength of the relationship between the grandparents and the child;
- The length of the relationship between the grandparent and the child;
- Any evidence of abuse or neglect by the grandparents;
- Any evidence of substance abuse by the grandparents;
- The child’s adjustment to home, school or community;
- The ability of the grandparents to provide love, affection and contact with the child; and
- The distance between the child and the grandparents.
Grandparents that may be seeking custody or visitation of their grandchild can include when the parent of the child is deceased; the grandchild’s parents are divorced; the parents of the child have substance abuse issues; or the grandchild lives with the grandparents.
Grandparents rights are important for many grandparents wishing to have a relationship with their grandchild or assuming care of their grandchild. For that reason, grandparents seeking visitation or custody should be familiar with their rights and what they include.