Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer Discusses Grandparents and Custody

In some child custody cases, grandparents feel a need to assert their right to have access to the child or children. This often occurs in situations where they feel as though a custody arrangement will be made which could result in them having less access to their grandchildren than they are accustomed to having. One grandmother in Georgia has gone a step further than asking for visitation, asserting that she should share custody of her ten year old grandson with the boy’s father.

A judge in Gwinnett County had ordered that the grandmother and the father share custody, and the child’s father objected to that decision. The Georgia Supreme Court recently reversed the county court’s decision because state law does not permit such an arrangement.

The grandmother has, at times, filled the role of primary caregiver for her grandson. The boy’s mother is unable to fulfill a parental role because she struggles with drug abuse. The boy’s father moved out of state to start his own business, and he does not dispute that the grandmother has a strong bond with his son and that she takes good care of him. However, the father has now established his business, he is able to provide the child with a stable home, and he has maintained a strong bond with his son.

The ruling in this case does not seek to undermine or diminish the role of grandparents in their grandchildren’s lives. In some cases, grandparents provide much needed stability for children whose parents are having a difficult time providing it for them. Some parents depend upon their children’s grandparents for child care, or even to fulfill the role of primary caregiver some of the time. In some cases, parents even voluntarily relinquish their parental rights to their children so that the children’s grandparents can raise them.

The difference between the aforementioned situations and the case at hand is that the arrangements in the aforementioned situations are all voluntary, and the county court had ordered shared custody between the grandmother and the child’s father when the father did not want to share custody with her. Custody involves not only the day to day care of a child; it involves the ability to make decisions regarding education, health care, and other matters. This is why Georgia law is written so as to preclude situations where a fit parent shares custody with another individual who is not a parent, so as to preserve the rights of parents to make decisions regarding their children. Grandparents can be granted liberal amounts of visitation in Georgia if they can meet certain criteria, but this does not have the same effect as a grant of shared custody would because visitation does not include parental rights and responsibilities.

Custody and visitation issues involving grandparents do sometimes arise in child custody cases. A Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer can help you understand how these issues could affect your family. Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer Matthew S. Poole helps parents with the challenges that they face as they move through their child custody proceedings. To learn more about your Mississippi child custody case, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

 

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Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer Discusses Grandparents and Custody
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Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer discusses the role of grandparents and child custody matters.

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