New Jersey residents may be interested in learning what grandparent child custody is and how it could affect them. Grandparent child custody is allowed in some areas and gives grandparents the right to petition or to be awarded the custody of their grandchildren. If grandparents are not awarded custody, they could be awarded visitation rights.
Federal law often gives preference to parents when it comes to caring for their children. It is their right to do so. For this reason, in some areas grandparent child custody has been seen as an infringement on the rights of parents. Still, there are circumstances where the court will decide that it is in the best interests of the child for them to be raised by their grandparents. Typical circumstances might include things like the death of one or both parents or evidence of abuse by one or both parents.
The court is keenly interested in understanding the relationship between the child and their parents when deciding cases of grandparent child custody. In many cases its presumed that the parents should retain custody unless it is clear that it is not in the best interests of the children. Grandparents may be able to present evidence of neglect, such as leaving a child by themselves in a house or an apartment for a number of reasons. The court may determine that it is not in the child's best interests to have a neglectful parent as a guardian.
Grandparents who want custody of their grandchildren should make sure that the laws in their area allow for this provision. A family law attorney might work with their clients by helping them to understand the laws pertaining to custody and about any updates to the law that could positively or negatively impact their claim of child custody.