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What grandparents should know about child custody

While Wisconsin grandparents may prefer that their grandchildren are raised by their parents, in some situations it may be best if grandparents receive custody of the children. Getting custody sometimes depends on a family's particular circumstances and it is important to understand what a court might consider when determining who the children will live with.

There are many reasons a court might decide that grandparents should have custody of their grandchildren. According to FindLaw, courts sometimes prefer to award custody to grandparents if the parents are not capable of raising the children or if they are abusive. The best interests of the children also play a factor. A court typically considers whether people are physically and financially capable of caring for the children. Sometimes the opinions of the children play a role in determining custody. If children are close to their grandparents, a court might be more likely to award them custody. 

Raising grandchildren is a serious commitment and it is important for people to have all of the information they will need. The American Association of Retired Persons says that grandparents should typically speak to social workers and other people who have been involved in the custody case. These people can help grandparents understand the children's daily schedule, as well as provide advice about managing unexpected expenses. Some people may want to keep notes about all of this information so they know who to speak to if there are further legal problems.

Additionally, it is important for people to make sure they have all of the important documentation about their grandchildren. This includes forms such as medical records and birth certificates, as well as the children's Social Security cards. Grandparents should also ensure that they have all of the paperwork about the custody arrangement.


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