If you are a grandparent worried about your grandchildren’s future during a divorce that has resulted in the children being taken in by Child Protective Services (CPS), you likely want to know more about grandparents’ rights in a divorce. The good news is that as a grandparent, you do not need to simply stand on the sidelines, wondering about the future of your grandchildren. Instead, you can take a proactive role in the care of your grandchildren.
One of the most important things you need to understand is that if the children are taken by CPS, the goal is to keep the children together, and when possible, place the children with a relative. When the children’s parents are not an appropriate option, because of issues such as drugs, alcohol, or abuse, grandparents are often a wonderful placement choice.
When children are taken by CPS, they will be placed in emergency foster care. There will then be a hearing within 14 days to determine if the children should be placed back with their parents or if they should be placed with someone else. The good news is that you can volunteer right away to have your grandchildren placed in your care. One or more of the children’s parents can also suggest you as a good placement option. At times, CPS may grant your request right away.
Even if CPS decides not to place your grandchildren with you, that does not mean you should give up. You can still file a petition to be granted custody. The key to getting custody of your grandchildren is to show that you can provide a safe and stable environment for your grandchildren. This includes having a home as well as beds for your grandchildren. You should be able to demonstrate that you can get your grandchildren safely back and forth to educational activities, doctor’s appointments, and other activities. You should also show that you have a loving relationship with your grandchildren. The stronger your case, the better chance you have of gaining custody of your grandchildren.
At Springer & Lyle, we understand the keys to helping grandparents gain custody of their grandchildren. Contact us to learn how we can help you.