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Grandparents can formalize child custody of grandchildren

A significant number of children in Illinois are in the care of their grandparents. In some cases, circumstances lead them into taking the place of parents, and in some of those situations, grandparents who offered to help out find themselves ultimately becoming responsible for raising their grandchildren. There might come a day when grandparents realize that, to take proper care of the children, they need to formally obtain child custody.

In circumstances in which the state removes the children from the care of their parents, the grandparents could be appointed as foster parents, which would make them responsible for day-to-day care of the children. However, any significant decisions regarding the children will be made by the state. Grandparents can petition the court for physical child custody with a power of attorney that will formally authorize them to address medical, education and other needs of the children. Such situations might be temporary or permanent, and depending on state laws, it might be an informal arrangement and achieved by the parents signing consent forms rather than obtaining power of attorney.

Other options for grandparents who want to establish a more permanent arrangement include asking the family court for legal and physical child custody. Parents might get visitation rights, and they could even regain custody, depending on the circumstances. However, they will have to petition the court and prove their ability to provide proper care for the children. The most permanent option is for the grandparents to adopt the grandchildren. Upon adoption, all parental rights will end.

The circumstances of each Illinois family are unique, and grandparents' care might be needed in a variety of ways, each with its own legalities. Grandparents can get answers to questions about child custody from an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer can assess the circumstances and explain the available options along with the pros and cons of each option. This will allow the grandparents to make decisions that will protect the best interests of the children.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 866-921-8767
Phone: 618-207-3458
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