Custody

Can grandparents get custody rights of mentally physically challenged children?

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2011-09-12 15:28:24
2011-09-12 15:28:24

If you mean getting "custody" of your grandchildren, it depends on a lot of factors--- do the parents or gaurdians have legal custody?? Are they unfit parents?? Do you mean "visitation" rights?? First- If they are unfit and a state childrens agency is involved, and/or the children have been removed from the home ( or the parents rights have been "severed") then you can speak to the "case worker" and petion the court for custody. Most agencies look to place children with family members that are willing and able to assume "custody". HOWEVER- if you mean VISITATION rights, you would have to approach the parents and have an agreement with them for visitation times. If they refuse, then you can petion the courts and/or seek out a case worker who will help you. THE ISSUE of Grandparents rights is still being hashed out in the court system. GANDPARENTS are an important part of ANY child's life. If parents don't allow their children contact with their grandparents, (for whatever reason), I feel it's very sad to "use" children as pawns in their little "game". The children end up the LOSERS. I truly hope this has helped you. I wish you the very best!

AnswerAny party that can establish "just cause" may petition the court for guardianship/custodial rights of a minor(s). Grandparents have a legal right to request the court grant them guardianship of a child if the circumstances warrant. A judge will always make such a decision based upon what is in the best interest of the child/children and not on the preference of family members.

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LAST YEAR we reported in The New York Law Journal that the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to Troxel v. Granville, [FN1] an appeal involving the constitutionality of Washington's nonparent visitation statute.

We said that where a decision relating to a child is involved, regulations imposing a burden on it may be justified only by compelling state interests, because the right to rear a child is protected by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. We suggested that when the natural parents are alive, the state's compelling interest is sufficient to allow it to determine, in the "best interest of the child", the extent to which the child's contacts with its natural family should be interfered with, only upon a showing of harm to the child.

We concluded that a grandparent visitation statute which applies the "best interest" analysis, and does not require a showing of harm to the child before state interference can be authorized, is unconstitutional.

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