In Indiana, there are laws used to determine matters of child custody and visitation rights for grandparents. In many cases, these laws can be more intricate and confusing than a person may be expecting, and it can actually be quite hard for a grandparent to gain custody in the end. However, it isn’t impossible.
FindLaw takes a look at the custody requirements grandparents face if they want to fight for custody of a grandchild. Generally speaking, the easiest way for a grandparent to gain custody of a grandchild is if both of their birth parents are deceased. Otherwise, courts usually default to the notion that the child should remain with their parents, or remaining parent.
In order to gain custody if at least one parent is still alive, grandparents need to prove two things. One, that they have a strong relationship with the child. Two, that the parent (or parents) are unfit to continue holding custody. If switching custody goes against a parent’s wishes, proving this can be quite difficult.
Fox 5 News hosts an article examining cases in which grandparents earn custody of a grandchild. One woman stated that dealing with the administration for children’s services was one of the most difficult parts. Grandparents also have to go through rigorous mental health screenings and must attend many court appearances. This can be taxing on those who are not in the best of health.
However, many grandparents still fight for custodial rights despite the hurdles in their way. Having additional legal help could potentially be the bolster that is needed to face the courts.