Can grandparents petition for custody of a child temporarily living with them?
My wife has a 5-year-old son from a previous relationship. The child had been living with my wife’s parents prior to us getting married. The closest thing he ever had to a male role model prior to me was my wife’s grandfather. They developed a bond. The child now lives with my wife and I. Can the grandfather petition the Court for custody?
Any third-party can petition the court for custody of a child. However, the court will consider the child’s best interest looking at the history of who has provided care for this child.
If the child’s parents are alive, great deference will be given to the parents having custody. Of course, if the parents agree to someone else having custody and they are willing to sign consents with the court, then it is very likely that the court will award that relief. On the other hand, if even one parent does not consent, then the petitioning parties will need to prove that the parents are either unfit or it is in the child’s best interest given all the circumstances that the child live with them.