Skipping A Generation: Making Grandparent Custodial Arrangements Work

Sometimes, families have unusual situations for custody that are the best for the kids. When an adult child is going through a divorce, they may be left in a bad place financially and emotionally and unprepared for single parenthood. If one or both of the parents of your grandchildren are unstable, the grandparents having full or partial custody of the children can be a good idea. When you and your family are considering a situation where both sets of grandparents share custody of the children, there are some issues that will need to be worked out legally and family-wise. Here is where to start with setting up a successful grandparent custodial agreement. 

Get both parents on board

If the parents of the children are not stable, it can be a good idea for the grandparents to have custody at the current moment. As the biological grandparents, if you decide that you are ready to take on custody of the children, everyone should have a meeting to talk about the arrangement. Make sure both of the parents agree to the grandparents having custody for the current time. Define the time limits that everyone wants the arrangement to have, or if the arrangement will go on for an unspecified amount of time, talk about when you all will come together to renew the custodial agreement with one another. Everyone being on board will decrease the need for a lengthy custody court hearing. 

Get a family lawyer to iron out a contract

Handing over custody to grandparents is easier than handing over custody to non-family members, but it will still require an attorney. A family law attorney like one from Kalamarides & Lambert will be able to iron out a custody agreement between the parents and grandparents. Though it may be tempting to make the custodial agreement just between the family, there are times in which the grandparents may need proof of custody, such as for school enrollment or to get the children on their health insurance. Make sure this agreement is signed off by everyone and is filed with the family court in your state for proper legal proof. 

Arrange parental responsibilities

Even if the parents are taking some time to get their life stabilized and in order, it is a good idea to encourage parental involvement while the grandparents have custody. Be sure to request that the parents spend a certain amount of time with the kids, such as two weekends per month a piece. This will keep them in the loop regarding the life of their children, but still allow them the maximum amount of time necessary time to work on their career and personal wellness. Parents should get a schedule of all school events and take turns coming to the events for children. Remaining a cohesive family unit even with an unusual custodial arrangement can keep the family tight-knit during all times.