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When Can Grandparent Seek Custodial Rights?

Handley LLC Feb. 24, 2020

Generally, parents have the legal right of guardianship for the children and to decide what is best for them. When a third party like grand parents are involved in child custody and seek it, the court may balance the parents’ rights for the best interest of the child. If grandparents think children will live a better life under their custody, they can appeal.

When Both Parents Are Alive -

When both parents are alive, the court prefers to handover child custody to one of them. Third party or grandparents may be given custodial rights if living parents cannot or do not want to take care of the child.

Here are some situational demands where grandparents may get the right –

  • Both parents not fit.

  • Both parents agree to handover custody to the grandparents.

  • Abuse in parents’ home.

  • Drug or alcohol abuse.

  • Parent is not mentally stable.

  • One parent is not fit and other do not want child custody.

When Parents Are Not Alive –

When the parent with custodial rights are not alive, the court turns to the other parent for child custody. It does not matter if the parent is not involved actively in the child’s life. The second choice is obviously close blood relative. If grandparents are snot the only left relatives who are willing to take custody, the court finds who is most eligible to have the custody for the best interest of the child.

If you want legal guardianship for your grandchildren, you need legal assistance and seek help from family law attorney.

More About This Process

The Duration

The grandparents can get the permanent guardianship if parents are not alive or their right have been terminated. Typically, when the children are no longer minor, the guardianship ends up. Though, it is possible to extend it if the children have medical, emotional, physical or financial disabilities or needs.


The legal guardians have the right to make decisions on the needs of the grandchildren related to health, education and finance. Grandparent can also apply for Social Security on their behalf. If the parents are alive, grandparents cannot change their name as guardians without permission.


There are also some responsibilities related to legal guardianship. Grandparents with custodial rights are given the rights to manage the finances of their grandchildren.

Parental Rights

Guardianship does not mean parents cannot visit their children unless the court already has rejected the rights. However, the court or the grandparents may restrict the parental right to visit or any other interaction or communication with the children.

Contact Handley Law Center for family attorney in Oklahoma City. Contact us if you are looking for the custodial rights of your grandchildren.

** Disclaimer: This blog article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.