No parent wants to face off with their child in a court of law to battle for custody of the grandchildren, but scenarios where grandchildren live with and are supported by their grandparents have become commonplace in the last few decades. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the United States Census Bureau, the number of children living in their grandparent's home rose by 76 percent in the counting period between 1970 and 1997. If you are a grandparent faced with the task of assuming guardianship or custody of your grandchildren in order to ensure that they are safe, these tips can help you build a strong case.
Check on the Children Frequently
When the health and safety of the grandchildren are at stake, grandparents should make an extra effort to maintain frequent contact through visits and phone calls. If you live in a location that is too far for daily or frequent visits, see if you can arrange to talk with them on the phone, send text messages or even video chat or use social media to stay as informed as possible about the living conditions in the home.
Keep a Daily Journal
In many cases, grandparents seek to intervene when they suspect neglect, abuse or illegal activity, such as drug use, is occurring in the home of their grandchildren. Although it can be painful to admit that your child could be capable of such acts, the health and safety of the grandchildren must take first priority.
Grandparents who suspect any of these problems should immediately begin keeping a daily journal or log with detailed descriptions of any physical or emotional signs that something bad is happening in the home.
Include additional information that could be helpful if a legal battle is likely to be waged at a later date, such as names and descriptions of other people who spend time in the child's home, accounts of conversations between the grandparents and the parents of the grandchildren, details about illnesses, injuries, etc.
Back Up the Journal With Photos
Photos are a great way to document specific events and happenings that may be significant during a custody or guardianship hearing. Upload the photos and any pertinent details to create a timed, dated log. Use photos to document suspicious vehicles at your child's home, especially if drug use or illegal activity is suspected, as well as the general living conditions in the home and any injuries suffered by the grandchildren.
Know Your Options
Being prepared is the best way to care for grandchildren who are living in unhealthy situations. As soon as you know that a problem exists, consider speaking with a reputable family law attorney who can explain the laws in your state and help you decide what your best options are for keeping your grandchildren safe.
If you want to know more or have other questions, contact a company like the Law Offices of Thomas J Donnelly.Share