Becoming a grandparent is an exciting moment. Many children develop special relationships with their grandparents, and enjoy spending time and keeping in touch with them. For some children, a visit to a grandparent’s home feels like a special treat. Sometimes, a grandparent may become concerned that a Virginia child is not being properly cared for by his or her parents, and he or she may want to petition for legal custody in a court of law.
There are many reasons why a grandparent may want to step in and take legal action on behalf of a grandchild he or she loves. Perhaps, a parent is struggling with addiction and the child is exposed to dangerous situations as a result. If a parent or another adult in the home is abusive, a child may be unsafe. If a parent cannot provide a safe and stable living situation for a child, a grandparent may want to take action to prevent a child from being removed from the home by the state or placed into foster care.
A grandparent who wants to bring a child into his or her home will have to navigate the legal system to make sure the living situation is protected by law. A custody order from a court will make sure grandparents are legally authorized to do things like enroll a child in school, seek medical care and provide other necessary care so that the child can thrive. There are even special resources to assist people who have legal custody of grandchildren, which can provide assistance to a grandparent who may feel limited by his or her own physical or mental limitations.
The first step is to file a petition for legal custody. A Virginia grandparent who is ready to take legal action to help a grandchild grow and thrive in a safe environment may want to consider seeking assistance from an experienced attorney. An attorney can help a client through all steps of the court process required to obtain legal custody of the grandchild he or she loves.