Can I seek custody of my grandchild?

From time to time we get inquiries from concerned grandparents asking if they can obtain custody of their grandchildren.

Yes, grandparents in New Jersey can seek custody of their grandchildren under certain circumstances. In New Jersey, grandparents can file for custody or visitation rights under the following conditions:

  1. Death or incapacity of a parent: If one or both parents are deceased or incapacitated, grandparents can petition the court for custody or visitation.
  2. Unfitness of parents: If the grandparents can prove that the child’s parents are unfit or unable to care for the child adequately, they may be granted custody.
  3. Abandonment: If the child has been abandoned by the parents, grandparents can seek custody.
  4. Harm to the child: If there is evidence of harm or potential harm to the child in the care of the parents, grandparents can seek custody to protect the child’s well-being.
  5. Existing custody order: If there is an existing custody order, grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights if they can demonstrate that it is in the best interests of the child.

It’s important to note that grandparents seeking custody or visitation rights in New Jersey must demonstrate to the court that granting them custody or visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The court will consider various factors, including the relationship between the child and the grandparents, the child’s preference (if the child is old enough to express a preference), the ability of the grandparents to provide a stable and loving environment, and any other relevant factors.

Grandparents in New Jersey who are considering seeking custody or visitation rights should consult with a family law attorney who can provide guidance specific to their situation and help them navigate the legal process

About Sandy Durst

Sandy Durst, Esq., is the founding partner of The Durst Firm where he heads the Family Law Department. Individuals facing a divorce benefit from the combination of legal skill, common sense and compassion that Sandy brings to each and every matter. Each case is given the personalized attention it deserves.
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