The Ultimate Guide For Grandparents Who Want Child Custody
Child custody issues often occur between divorcing parents, but there are some instances in which other family members may want to get involved in this issue.
For example, grandparents can seek custody of their grandchildren if the parents of the child are unable to properly care for a child, or if the parents agree to relinquish their custody rights.
Let’s take a look at the types of custody arrangements that are available to grandparents in Florida.
Child Custody Options For Grandparents
Florida law allows grandparents to seek custody based on whether the child is classified as dependent or non-dependent.
A dependent child is under the care and supervision of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the agency that ensures the safety of minors.
There are four options for grandparents seeking custody of a dependent child:
- Temporary – Custody that only lasts for a specific period of time
- Long-Term – Awarded after grandparents have six months or more of temporary custody, and DCF believes it is in the child’s best interests to remain with the grandparents.
- Court-Ordered – DCF recommends to a judge that the child be placed with the grandparents until the parents are fit to regain custody.
- Adoption – Grandparents gain permanent custody after the parents renounce their rights or a court takes away their rights.
Grandparents can also seek custody of a non-dependent child, which means the child is not under the care and supervision of DCF, and his or her welfare is not in danger.
There are four options for grandparents seeking custody of non-dependent child:
- Timesharing – Allows grandchild to live in grandparent’s house, but the child’s parents can still make major decisions involving the child’s life.
- Guardianship – Grandparents can petition to become guardians, which means they have sole parental responsibility of their grandchild until he or she turns 18. However, guardianship is not permanent, because either of the child’s parents could petition for custody before the child turns 18.
The best custody arrangement will always put the child’s best interests first, so grandparents who want custody must decide which option will be least disruptive to their grandchild’s life.
Custody Can Alter a Child’s Life
We don’t take child custody lightly, because we know how this issue can affect a child for a lifetime. That’s why we are sensitive to all sides in a child custody claim, and our goal is to always do our best to serve a child’s bestinterest. Grandparents who are willing and able to seek custody can provide wisdom and guidance that a child desperately needs. Please call the experienced team at The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire at 561-655-8844 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.