If both parents of a child die, a grandparent or another family member might step in as the new legal guardian of the child. However, aside from death, there are other scenarios under which a Florida grandparent might feel it's important to assume the role of parent for his or her grandchildren.
Here some of the most common reasons why grandparents become parents again:
-- Both parents have been deemed by a court to be unfit. Unfitness of being a parent could be the result of numerous circumstances. The bottom line in these situations is that the parent, by his or her lifestyle, actions or parenting style, poses a real threat to the child's welfare and safety.
-- Both parents consent to give up their child to the grandparents. There can be a number of reasons why the parents feel like they cannot take care of their children. This is similar to giving a child up for adoption, but it is being passed over to the care of the grandparent.
-- Abuse or neglect has been documented in the child's home. Since courts are always seeking to support the best interests of a child, abuse or neglect in the home would definitely be reasons to approve of the grandparents obtaining custody.
-- Drug or alcohol abuse is found in the home. Courts will do everything they can to prevent young children from being exposed to drug and alcohol abuse, including awarding the grandparents custody.
-- Mental illness of the parents: If the parents are deemed to be mentally ill, then the court will seek another guardian for the child, which may be the grandparents.
If you're a Florida grandparent who wants to child custody of his or her grandchildren, the Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, PA, may be able to help. We are available to assist grandparents in stepping forward to help care for and protect their grandchildren if the biological parents are unable or unwilling to do so themselves .