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When do courts grant child custody to grandparents?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | Child Custody

Child custody is a sensitive topic for families. While parents may think that they are certain of what is best for their children, it is for the courts to decide the best arrangement for the child. And sometimes, the courts deem it best to place children with their grandparents.

Factors courts may consider

There are many circumstances surrounding a child custody case, varying from family to family. Some factors may apply to one family but not to others. Generally, the courts may grant grandparents custody of their grandchildren for reasons such as:

  • Both parents are deceased.
  • Neither parent can provide appropriate care and sustenance due to substance abuse, mental health conditions or other similar reasons.
  • The child prefers to stay with the grandparents.
  • The court deems it the best choice for the child’s well-being.

While there is no fixed set of factors that courts consider, these are the typical reasons they may grant custody to grandparents instead of the child’s parents.

How courts determine a child’s best interest

When granting child custody, the courts put the child’s best interest as the top priority. But how do courts know if an arrangement is best for the child? The court looks at factors such as the child’s physical and mental health, the custodian’s capacity to provide parenting care and sustenance and the relationship between the child and the custodian.

In Georgia, courts do not favor one parent over the other. Moreover, they do not limit the options to just the parents, as grandparents or relatives may also be possible custodians. Whatever the court’s decision may be, it is undoubtedly for the safety and welfare of the child.

From offices in Augusta-Richmond County we serve clients in neighboring communities including Grovetown, Thomson, Waynesboro, Harlem, Lincolnton, and Wrens. Beyond Augusta we handle cases in Columbia County, Burke County, McDuffie County, Lincoln County and Wilkes County. We also proud to represent military families and veterans from Fort Gordon, Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem.