How And When Is Grandparent Custody Durham NC Seniors Want Possible?

By Amy Morgan

When people have children most assume those children will grow up, find a partner, settle down and start a family of their own. When individuals think about having grandchildren, they probably envision visiting them and taking them out for treats. Then the grandparents go back home having enjoyed the time spent. Unfortunately in Durham, NC and elsewhere, there seems to be a growing trend where grandparents end up raising their grandchildren. In Durham, NC when they seek official grandparent custody Durham NC seniors sometimes find it confusing and frustrating however.

It is not unusual for the older generation to think they know more about rearing children than their own children do. They can offer unsolicited advice, but should avoid criticism unless they want to risk restricted access to their grandchildren. Actually trying to take those children from the parents is difficult and can be almost impossible. Courts and family services side with the parents if at all possible.

Grandparents may be able to seek legal rights to grandchildren if there is drug abuse or illegal drug activity in the home. Not all states recognize abuse of illegal substances sufficient grounds for removing the child from the parental home however. You may have to prove parents actually gave drugs to the children. In some states ingesting drugs during pregnancy is considered child abuse, but not in all.

The most common way grandparents end up raising their grandchildren is by parents giving over authority. Sometimes the mother or father will drop off their children with the grandparents and disappear. Other times children spend more and more time with their grandparents until they are actually living with them full time.

Death and incarceration are two events that take parents from their children suddenly. In these cases, the grandparents may decide to leave the situation as it is after filing any paperwork necessary so they have can make important decision on the children's behalf. Other grandparents try to make legal custodial care arrangements through the court system.

When seniors decide to fight for custodial rights in the courts, they often face difficult challenges. If the minors are already in their care, it is usually easier to convince the legal system to make the relationship formal. Parents who are have been sentenced to long prison terms, have been convicted of child abuse, or have abandoned their children are most at risk of losing legal guardianship.

Seniors involved in these types of situations should clearly understand that guardianship is not the same as adoption. If the parent's circumstances change, and they can prove they have the means and the ability to safely raise their children, the courts can, and often do, return the minors to the parental home and terminate the custodial rights of the grandparents.

Family emotions can run high when children are involved. Relatives don't always agree on what is in their best interest. When grandparents try to prove they are a better choice than a parent, the courts may or may not agree.

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