A grandparent may him- or herself be taking care of a grandchild because the parent is unable. It may become important for that grandparent to file a custody petition in Family Court in order to get an order that can be used, for example, for school and medical purposes.
A recent case from the Appellate Division underscores the importance of a grandparent being able to step in and get custody of a child when it would not be in the best interests of the child for the parent to continue to have custody.
The Family Court did not follow the correct procedure in awarding the grandparent custody, but the Appellate Division itself found that there were extraordinary circumstances that supported the custody order to the grandparent. The grandparent had taken care of the child for a significant period of the child’s life, such as when the mother was incarcerated, and the mother could not show that she had been treated for her heroin addiction.
Grandparents who are thinking of obtaining custody of their grandchild, or who may just want to have a visitation order so as to stay in their grandchild’s life, should contact our office for a free consultation.
Lewis v. Speaker, Appellate Division 2nd Department (October 2016)