For some Florida families, a child custody fight does not feature the usual parties of a mother and father. There are cases in which grandparents seek custody of their grandchildren. These are often highly emotional cases, and can be difficult for everyone involved. Parents have a constitutional right to care for their children, and mounting a case to have those rights limited or terminated is a challenge. Grandparents who want to be successful in court will need the services of a good child custody attorney.
Very often, grandparents step forward to care for their grandchildren after drugs or alcohol have rendered the parents unfit. That is not an easy situation for the grandparents, who are faced with the choice of watching their grandchildren suffer or taking legal action against their own child. However, the best interests of the minor children usually win out, and grandparents eventually feel that they have no other choice than to seek custody.
If one or both parents do not want to surrender their parental rights, the courts will have to make a determination. Courts are reluctant to remove a child from a parent’s care unless there is clear evidence that the child is in danger. Often, the simple fact of a drug problem is not enough. A pattern of harm to a child or a clear risk of imminent danger is more likely to result in a custody change than a simple pattern of drug use.
Grandparents who want to gain custody must keep good records of the time and effort that they have put in to care for their grandchildren. They should also document any evidence that supports their efforts. By working with a child custody attorney and building a solid case, it is possible for Florida grandparents to be successful in gaining the right to raise their grandchildren.
Source: startribune.com, “New Hampshire law gives grandparents custody preference”, Michael Casey, June 28, 2017