Parenting Tips

Can a child decide to live with a grandparent?

Typically it’s the parents whose right comes first when it comes to taking care of a child, and courts usually agree to that. But if a third party, such as grandparents, claim a kid’s custody – then the court considers both the parent’s legal right and the best interest of the kid.

However, grandparents who seek custody of their grandchildren must submit a really compelling case before the court to convince the judge. Below we discussed multiple situations when grandparents can claim custody of a kid, and the potential in each case.

If both parents are alive

Law can vary state-wise, but usually, when both of the parents are alive – the court grants custody to both or any one of them. Grandparents may claim the custody, in which case they need to prove any of the followings to make their case strong enough to be considered.

child with grandparent

  • If both parents are alive, but they are unwilling or somehow unable to take care of the kid
  • Both parents are physically, mentally, or morally unfit
  • Both parents agree to surrender their claim in favor of grandparents
  • The kid got abused by his/her parents and a case has been registered
  • Both parents have a record of drug-abusing

Anyone of both parents is physically, mentally or morally unfit, and the other parent is not willing to take the custody.

If the child decides to live with a grandparent

There are just a few situations when grandparent’s claim can be considered worthy in the eyes of the law. However, if there’s any other family member who comes in the picture demanding the custody, chances are that the grandparent’s claim could be denied.

But one thing sometimes court put a little extra weight which is if the grandparents were acting as the actual parents. Some courts may ask for proof of minimum of one year of taking care history of the kid before it grants permanent custody.

It’s the court that decides to whom the child’s best interest will be preserved as the court considers all the aspects presented before them.

If the custodial parent dies: Once the custodial parent dies, the court generally decides to hand over the child’s custody to the other partner whether he or she was involved in the child’s care.

This is the first choice for the court, and if for any reason, court decides not to give the custody to the living parent – then the second option is the blood relatives. The court also considers the right of a child to choose to live with grandpa and grandma.  Teenager’s right to choose to live with grandparents also considers with court