Grandparent's Child Custody Serves the Best Interests of the Child? (Bhanmattie H. v. Roxanne H.—2017.06.19)
In today’s world of “blended” and multi-generational families, one of the most difficult issues facing Courts and families is child custody, or with whom a child(ren) should live. Courts have traditionally seen the parent/child relationship as paramount, and have only disrupted this relationship under “extraordinary circumstances,” such as when the parent has been physically or sexually abusive, has been severely and persistently neglectful, and/or has serious mental, physical, or substance abuse issues. Courts viewed third parties, such as grandparents, as “secondary” sources of child custody, and have given them the opportunity to parent only when the child’s biological parents were deemed unable or unfit for custody of the child. However, courts are beginning to recognize the realities of many families where grandparents are invaluable figures. Rather than dismissing grandparents as secondary figures when it comes to child custody, courts are looking to the best interests of the child.