Indiana parents and grandparents, when at odds with one another, may turn to the law governing grandparents’ right to visitation of the grandchildren. However, the law may be more complicated than meets the eye. Proving that one is the actual grandparent of the child is not always enough to ensure the grandparent will prevail on his or her petition for visitation.
If you are a grandparent who is trying to get custody of your grandchildren in Indiana, you may need to prove the parents are unfit and have their right terminated before you can be granted custody. Proving a parent unfit is always done through the courts. Only a judge can make this legal declaration and end parental rights.
Grandparents in Indiana like you and your spouse may be stuck in a situation that has left you wondering whether or not it would be possible for you to gain legal custody of your grandchild. While this task can certainly be more difficult than parents fighting for custody, that doesn't mean you have no chance at all of gaining custodial rights.
After having developed a strong relationship with your grandchildren in Indiana, you would likely be willing to do whatever you could to keep that relationship going even if something were to happen affecting your adult child's parental status. Oftentimes, grandparents come to us here at Schemb's Law after the state has taken custody of their grandchildren and approved their adoption by another family wondering if they can retain the right to keep in contact with them.
One of the things that courts in Indiana consider when weighing custody issues is the best interests of the child. If there are circumstances affecting the child’s safety when with the parents, or other statutory conditions are present, a grandparent may be given custody. While determining whether this is in the child’s best interests, the American Grandparents Association points out that the judge will typically examine factors that include the following:
Grandparents in Indianapolis may develop strong bonds with their grandchildren that most will want to see continue in the event that their sons or daughters end up getting a divorce. Fortunately, Indiana state law recognizes a grandparent’s right to visitation, and has established guidelines that people can cite when trying to have such rights respected.