In addition to spending time with their grandchildren. grandparents want to know that their son or daughter's children have a safe, healthy living environment. When drug use, neglect, or abuse of some other type is suspected on the part of their sons, daughters, or their spouses, grandparents may want to look into assuming custody of the children, in order to protect them from danger. If you are a concerned grandparent who is considering taking this type of action to protect one or more of your grandchildren, the following information can be helpful.
Make sure concerns are accurate
The court system and current laws of most states strongly support parental custody of children, and rightly so. Without these types of protections, simple disagreements between a child's parents, grandparents, or others could allow children to be unnecessarily removed from their parental home.
With this in mind, however, grandparents who are sure that there are legitimate reasons why the child's parental home is unsafe or unhealthy should always feel able to explore legal options for a change in custody.
Consider a voluntary custody arrangement
In situations where one or both of the parents is clearly struggling with a serious issue that will require some time to work through, grandparents may want to consider asking their child to consider granting them voluntary, temporary custody of the grandchildren.
Doing this can help to protect the relationship between the grandparents and their children and spouses, while providing a safe, healthy living situation for any children involved. Voluntary custody arrangements can be for a period of weeks, months, or even years, and they can give grandparents peace of mind, while providing their adult children the time to focus on getting treatment for substance abuse or working through other issues.
Work within the laws of their state
Child custody laws vary widely from state to state. In most, abuse on the part of a parent or step-parent, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual misconduct or exploitation, and neglect are all reasons why courts could consider removing a child from their parental home. In addition, abandonment of a child by their parent or parents is also a common reason.
In most states, simple drug use in the home may not be considered abuse, unless the drugs come into contact with the child or create actual risk to them. Examples that will likely be seen as abuse is when drug use occurs during a pregnancy, or in situations where the children are exposed to the substances.
Grandparents who have concerns about the safety or health of their grandchildren should seek immediate counsel with a trusted child custody attorney to determine the best options. Threats that are considered immediate should be reported to local law enforcement in the area in which the grandchildren live.
For more information, talk to companies like Cragun Law Firm.