If your child has a child of their own, it's a blessing like no other. Watching their style of parenting can bring pure joy to your heart or in some cases, the complete opposite. If your child is practicing unsafe or questionable parenting practices because of their lifestyle choices, it's important to make sure that your grandchild is not witnessing this behavior. One way you can ensure the safety of your grandchild is to file a petition with the court to seek legal guardianship. This can be very difficult, because it can strain the relationship you have with your adult child. Here are just a few reasons to seek legal counsel in order to file for guardianship.
Their Partner Is A Registered Sex Offender
If you're the grandparent of a child under the age of 18, knowing who is around your grandchild and who cares for their needs is a major concern. If you find out that your child's new boyfriend happens to be a registered sex offender in your state, he legally should not be around any minor child. Whether your grandchild lives with the sex offender or not, they are still being exposed to someone convicted of a sexual crime. If your adult child refuses to end this relationship, you may have grounds to seek legal guardianship until the situation is resolved.
There Are Signs Of Abuse Or Neglect
If you've noticed that your grandchild's needs are not being met by their parents, this is an immediate cause for concern. Abuse of a child can fall under many terms, including:
- Visible signs of physical abuse
- Signs of neglect that include poor hygiene or malnutrition
- Acting out sexual behaviors or making sexual references
- Physically being left alone at home or being left unattended in a public place
- Mental abuse and name calling
- Verbal abuse from the parent or caregiver
Neglect can involve one or more things that lead to your grandchild's life being in immediate physical danger.
Substance Abuse Issues
If your adult child has had or currently has problems with drugs or alcohol, it can drastically affect the environment your grandchild is being raised in. The first step should be getting your adult child to admit to a substance abuse issue and that they need to seek immediate help. Whether it's an inpatient treatment facility to help with detoxification or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, taking the first step will help save their life. At this point, you should request temporary guardianship from the court system to ensure that your grandchild will be placed with you in a safe and nourishing home environment.
Your Child Has A Criminal Record
If your adult child is in trouble with the law, it's important to make sure it doesn't affect your grandchild. If their criminal record involves any jail or prison time, you should request legal guardianship to be able to raise your grandchild while their parent is incarcerated. Seeking advice from a qualified family law attorney like Haslam & Perri LLP will help guide you in the right direction so you can work at keeping your grandchild safe and thriving in their home environment.
Seeking legal guardianship can be challenging, especially if your adult child is struggling with daily life. The immediate goal is to do what is best for the minor child in their situation.