What steps can I take to get custody of my grandchildren?

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What steps can I take to get custody of my grandchildren?

My daughter has recently passed away. Her 2 children are living with their paternal great-grandmother in another state. I lwould like for them to come live with me. She is elderly and unable to properly care for the children, who are ages 11 and 7.

Asked on October 28, 2012 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggets thsat you speak with the paternal great grandmother first about the grandchildren and your desire to help raise them primarily where the paternal great grandmother would have every opportunity to see the children if you get the chance to raise them.

Mention her age and health as a factor. If such change is agreeable consult with a family law attorney to see if your daughter had any Will or trust setting forth custody issues of the children to make matters easier for you if you file a petition with the court for custody of the minors so as to assist in getting possible survivor benefits for the minors through the Social Security Administration as a result of your daughter's passing.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need to file a petition for custody of the children.  That must be filed in the state and county in which the children reside in order for the courts to have what is called "jurisdiction" over the children in order to make any determinations.  Custody determinations are made "in the best interest of the child."   The court will consider many factors in this and uprooting them will be but one.  I would speak with an attorney in the state in which the currently reside.  Good luck.


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