This is the second of two articles on Grandparents' rights. For a review of Grandparents' rights regarding visitation, see Part I.
With the upsurge of divorce and families in crisis, grandparents are more frequently becoming caregivers for minor children. In Minnesota, grandparents have specific rights in seeking custody and visitation of a child for whom they have provided care, financial support and a living arrangement. When a grandparent sees that a minor child is in danger due to negligent parenting, he or she has the right to seek custody under Minnesota law. Banas Family Law, P.A. has the experience to assist those seeking custody under what can be very difficult situations.
In Minnesota, the third-party custody law states that when biological parents are unfit or unable to provide care, grandparents may be able to obtain custody of children suffering in these situations. Third-party custody may be granted to grandparents for any number of reasons under the third-part custody laws. These reasons include parental abandonment or neglect; abuse; an inability to provide care; a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol, or is in prison or missing.
When a minor child's parents abuse or neglect their child, it is more often than not another family member who steps in to care for the child. And those family members are often the grandparents, who merely want to protect their grandchild's best interests. Many times, grandparents become the de facto or stand in parent when they provide childcare where the minor child's parents are unable to or unwilling to provide that care.
For those grandparents who want to move from standing in as parents and wish to obtain permanent custody, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney working for them. Your attorney is familiar with the rules and regulations and will be able to explain the often technical and complex laws that govern this type of action. Banas Family Law has experience working with grandparents seeking custody.
In Minnesota, the minor child must be living with the grandparents in order for the grandparents to petition for custody as de facto or stand in parents. If the minor child does not live with the grandparents, they can still petition the court for custody as interested third parties.
In any case, the court will look to the child's best interests in order to determine how custody should be awarded. The court uses a specific set of criteria, which are the best interest standards, to establish who should have custody of the minor child. The court weighs each party's results and makes the determination as to custody.