As a parent, you tried to do everything you could to support your children and help them become productive, healthy adults. Becoming a grandparent can often feel like the reward for raising a child.
Typically, grandparents get to play an active role in the lives of the next generation, although they often do so by offering emotional support, guidance to parents and family tradition. The parents are the ones who provide housing, food and other necessary resources.
Parents can’t always provide like they should
Sadly, your child could wind up in a situation where they can’t take care of their own children. Maybe they get arrested, or perhaps they struggle with addiction. It’s even possible that you may lose your child if the other parent of your grandchildren is not capable of stepping up into a full-time parental role.
No grandparent wants to see their beloved grandkids shuffled off into state care or foster homes. Thankfully, the law in Arizona recognizes the rights of concerned people, like grandparents, to ask for custody or placement of minor children.
Adults can ask for custody or legal authority when parents don’t do their job
Recognizing that your grandchildren don’t have the support and resources they need can be difficult. Many parents don’t like to undermine their own child’s independence. However, when abuse or neglect is severe enough to warrant state involvement or the termination of parental rights, stepping up can be the best option.
Under Arizona law, concerned adults who have relationships with the children affected can petition the court for physical custody and legal decision-making authority. If the courts determine that such a move is in the best interest of the children, they may grant a grandparent the same rate typically afforded to parents.
The focus should be on what’s best for the children, not the parents
Many grandparents who see their grandkids in sad or unstable situations don’t speak up for fear of offending their child. They don’t want to alienate or upset their child, who could cut them off from their grandkids.
However, your kids aren’t the one adversely affected by an unstable home life. Your grandchildren suffer too. Although parents may resent the involvement of family members in their home life, they may eventually be grateful when they understand how are the situation was for the children and how your efforts made things better for them.
If you think that pursuing custody is what will be best for your grandchildren, the sooner you start building your case, the better for everyone.