There may be times when grandparents need temporary custody of their grandchildren. Grandparents have such rights under Tennessee law in certain situations.
Gaining physical custody with power of attorney
Physical custody occurs when a child lives with their grandparents. In this situation, the grandparents are responsible for the child’s welfare on a daily basis. Sometimes, the parent will ask the grandparents to temporarily take the child for a set period of time.
The grandparents can assert their legal rights to the child by seeking a power of attorney that is signed by the parent and submitted to the court. This legal order includes a date or the child’s age when the custody agreement ends.
In some cases, grandparents can get both physical and legal custody of their grandchild. This can be done when they seek greater rights to the child and request legal custody from the court. Depending on the situation, if the grandparents gain physical and legal custody, the child’s parents may be granted visitation.
How do grandparents get custody of their grandchildren?
In addition to parents asking grandparents to temporarily take custody of the child, there are other ways grandparents can get child custody. If one or both parents are dead or one or both parents have abandoned the child, grandparents are able to petition for custody with the court. There are additional grounds for grandparents seeking custody of grandchildren. They include the following:
- The parent is unfit due to a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- The parent has surrendered custody of the child
- The parent has a history of abusing or neglecting the child
Grandparents have the right to seek custody of their grandchildren when the situation makes it appropriate. The court will consider various factors when making a decision.