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Grandparents could seek custody, guardianship of grandchildren

Some people’s fondest childhood memories involve their grandparents. In many families, a grandparent is a relative who gets to spoil their grandchildren but may not be involved in the routines of daily life. However, some grandparents actually end up being the primary care provider in some families. Those with experience with child custody arrangements recommend that parents and grandparents in Florida take precautions when a grandparent takes over parenting responsibilities.

When discussing who raises a child, there is a distinction between a guardian and child custody. The court appoints a guardian to care for a child. This could simply be a temporary situation and an arrangement that can be relatively easy to terminate when it is no longer needed. Someone who wishes to gain custody of a child, however, must be able to prove to the court that there is a significant need for such action. For example, a grandparent might seek child custody of a parent who is a drug abuser.

Drug abuse isn’t the only reason it may be necessary for a grandparent to seek guardianship or child custody. A parent could be jailed, traveling extensively or relocating for work. Whatever the reason, some parents may simply make the arrangements without involving the courts, making it difficult for the adult providing care to make decisions for the child in the case of a medical emergency.

Every family has its own unique circumstances that could impact the well-being of a child. For families in Florida who need a less traditional child custody or guardianship plan, it may be beneficial to be aware of state laws governing such arrangements. In the end, it is important that a child can be properly cared for regardless of their biological relationship to the adult making decisions for them.

Source: American News Report, “Child Custody Not Limited to Divorce“, , April 2, 2014