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How to take legal custody of your grandchildren

Sometimes, biological parents are not in a fit state to take care of their dependent children. This could be due to many factors including mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction or the fact that they are serving a prison sentence. Children whose parents are unable to adequately care for them may have to enter the foster care system. However, a great alternative to this is if another family member, for example a grandparent or grandparents, can take full custody of them instead.

This blog will provide a brief overview into how grandparents that want to gain full custody of their grandchildren should start the process, and what general factors they should take into consideration.

It's all about consistency

Consistency is key for the upbringing of children. The courts will always want what is in the best interests of the child, so if you can prove that you can provide a stable and safe environment where the biological parents cannot, and you can provide a good alternative to foster care, you will have a strong case.

Have a support network

One of the biggest advantages in the court's eyes for grandparents to take legal custody is that the children in question will have ties to they biological family, access to their identity and a supportive community that has known them since birth. Often, however, these children have been through trauma, so it's important to show that you have good contacts with schools, friends and know what steps to take to ensure the child's well-being.

Seek legal advice

Gaining trusted legal advice is a wise choice for ensuring that you have a strong case and can bring about the proceedings in a smooth way.

Source: Proud Grandparents, "Taking legal custody of grandchildren," accessed Sep. 21, 2017

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