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Can California Grandparents Be Awarded Custody of Their Grandchildren?

Options to Protect the Children in Your Life

Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. An increasing number are even becoming primary guardians for their grandchildren, serving as the final blockade between the children and Child Protective Services.

Reasons for Assuming the Role of Primary Guardian

California Family Code Section 3041 allows non-parents, such as grandparents, to step in and be granted custody of children (regardless of parental consent) if the court finds it necessary and in the best interest of the children.

Grandparents have just cause to seek custody of their grandchildren for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The parent or parents are dealing with physical or mental health problems, including substance abuse
  • The parents are divorced or facing other hardships such as unemployment or incapacitation
  • The parents are incarcerated or otherwise unable to be there for their children
  • The children are being neglected or abused

If there is evidence of any of these events, the grandparents can, and should, seek legal assistance to establish custody of the children in order to protect them.

Seeking Temporary Custody

Temporary custody is a plausible and potentially beneficial solution if the reason for taking over care is a short prison sentence or rehabilitation program. The parents will still be legal guardians, but the grandparents can be granted the temporary authority to care for the grandchildren.

Seeking Adoption

If the parents have a long jail sentence or other conflict that is likely to remove them from their children’s lives for a significant period of time, adoption should be considered. This effectively terminates the parents’ rights and establishes a parent-child relationship between you and your grandchild. Adoption necessitates more serious long-term considerations, however, as it is a permanent solution that requires you to continue caring and providing for the child until they are at least 18 years old.

We Are Here to Help You Seek Custody of Your Grandchildren

Both maternal and paternal grandparents have equal rights to seek custody of their neglected grandchildren. If you are battling with your grandparental counterparts, our attorneys can help you gather the necessary evidence to show proper cause that it would be in the child’s best interest to live with you.

Our lawyers understand and sympathize with the emotions involved in the rehoming process and will fight for the best outcome for your grandchildren.

For more information on custody options for your grandchildren, contact The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates.