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Can grandparents gain custody of their grandchildren?

As grandparents in Indiana, there are numerous reasons as to why you might want legal custody of your grandchild. Perhaps the child’s parents are incapable of caring for them. Maybe one or both parents are in jail. Here are some of the requirements that you must meet if you’re seeking to gain custody.

The first thing to note is that it’s actually quite hard for grandparents to gain custody of a child if one or both of their parents are still alive. FindLaw takes a look at the custody requirements, which can be seen as stringent.

In court, the default assumption is that the child’s parents should retain custody if still alive. Therefore, in order to gain custody, a grandparent must prove that the parent in question is unfit to be a legal guardian. For example, you can prove the existence of an abusive or neglectful situation. If both parents end up in a situation where neither can physically care for the child, this can also be an arguing point. Regardless, if the parent or parents do not wish to give up custody, it can still be a tough battle.

Outside of these factors, there are also individual state laws to take into consideration. For example, some states require that relationship between you and your grandchild be proven before you even get visitation rights.

If you are looking into taking legal custody of your grandchild but don’t know where to begin, consider seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney. They can help you figure out which angle to tackle the case from in order to get the best chances of success.