Many grandparents in the Salem area get involved in their grandchildren’s lives not only because they love them but also because they worry about their welfare.
Sometimes, despite their best efforts, it becomes apparent to grandparents that their own children might not be the best parents or even safe people for their grandchildren to be around.
In these cases, Oregon grandparents have a number of legal options available to them.
For example, while they are able, and may even be required, to report actual abuse or neglect to the proper authorities, they should understand that once they make a report, what ultimately happens is to some extent out of their hands.
Sometimes, getting the cooperation of the parents is the best option
In many cases, it might be best for the grandparents to convince a struggling parent legally to give some or all of the parent’s authority to the grandparents.
Even though it may not involve a court proceeding, there is a formal process for taking this step which will include drafting legal documents. A grandparent cannot just assume custody informally.
The good news is that this option often costs less and involves much less time and stress. It also gives both a grandparent and a parent a sense of control since either side can withdraw from the arrangement.
The downside is that if the arrangement falls apart, a parent automatically resumes custody of the children even if doing creates a concerns about the child’s home environment.
Oregon’s laws allows courts to mandate grandparent custody, visitations
If the parent will not agree to let a child’s grandparents assist with caring for the child, then grandparents may be able to go to court for relief.
Oregon’s laws give grandparents the right, in certain circumstances, to ask a court to require visitation. In some cases, the court may even award the grandparents custody.
As a word of caution, though, courts must assume that a parent is fit to make decisions about the child, including who will or will not see the child.
Grandparents will have to build up an effective legal case if the hope to succeed in convincing an Oregon court to overrule a parent’s wishes about the parent’s children.
Other legal options may be available to grandparents as well.