If you are a custodial grandparent who is taking care of children due to abuse or neglect by the parents, you may worry that someday the court will return custody to the children's parents. At Donna Dougherty Law P.C., we understand the fear and uncertainty you feel. We are prepared to assist Virginia grandparents in protecting vulnerable children when it is not in their best interests to remain with the biological parents.
According to Virginia state law, you may be able to have your grandchildren's parents' parental rights revoked under certain conditions. It is not enough simply to have temporary custody while the parents work through some problems. You will need to convince the court that your grandchildren's parents are in some way unfit to take care of their children. For example, both parents may be alcoholics or addicted to drugs, and have failed to go through treatment to address their addictions. They may be physically abusive toward the children or they may have willfully neglected their basic needs. If they temporarily lost custody but failed to visit the children and maintain a parental bond, it might be considered a case of abandonment, in which case the court might decide it is best for the children to permanently live with a family member who cares for them.
Child custody issues that involve the children's parents are heartbreaking and difficult. However, ensuring the children grow up in a loving home is much better for their emotional and physical development. Visit our child custody page to learn more about parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of children.