First let me say you aren’t alone. Though this article cannot offer you actual legal advice, and cannot replace the need for a lawyer, it can help you informing yourself and give you some pointers on what to ask your lawyer. There are sadly many reasons why you'd need to apply for custody of your grandchild. Maybe your child has gone through a rough period of time, or the state has taken your grandchild away from them. You could be one of the unfortunate that has lost their own child and now need to know how to go about the legal aspects of adopting his or her underage children. So if you have found yourself asking how do I apply for custody of my grandchild, we’ll look at this step by step.

The first and most important step to applying for custody of your grandchild is to make sure you know what the legal status is. You need to know if your son or daughter has lost custody to the state or whatever other instance might be occurring. Before doing anything or contacting child services you should consult with an attorney, to make sure all the procedures are followed properly and you don't jeopardize your chances of getting custody of your grandchild

Guardianship of Your Grandchildren

The next step is to look into what type of custody you are planning to apply for. If you are looking to simply add a legal aspect to the relationship with a grandchild you are already raising you may want to apply for temporary guardianship. This can be the case if the parents are temporarily unable to care for the child themselves. For example, if you are caring for the grandchild, and your child is in the military this may very well be the type of custody you need. If your child is going through problems, and asks you to care for your grandchild this may also be the right type of custodial arrangement. Applying for custody of your grandchild is clearly easier if both the grandchild’s parents are in agreement.

Guardianship may answer the question of how do I apply for custody of my grandchild. This type of custody may require more than the relative care form discussed above. Depending on state, and regulations therein, you may have to take classes or follow other court recommendations for this type of custody. This custody is also allowed for non relations, and must be dissolved by the court.

So, how do I apply for custody of my grandchild when I think there are bigger problems involved?

We always do our best to raise our children right, but sometimes, no matter how hard we try things go wrong. If you think that your child isn’t providing your grandchildren with the adequate care or a proper home, or you think there is neglect or abuse involved you do have the right to do something about it. You may file a dependency action. Now, this is where the courts become the most involved, and it can be the start of a long legal battle as the wellbeing of the child is first and foremost in the eyes of the law

It’s likely that the social services provided by your state will file the dependency action if there is reason to believe the child is being abused. After that has been filed the child may be temporarily placed in your custody, but this is up to the court, so if you feel your grandchild needs to be in your custody be prepared to prove that your child needs help and cannot provide for them. This kind of action can lead to lots of suffering for everybody involved, since a custody battle has no real winners, so make sure you have exhausted all the dialogue options before taking your son or daughter to the courts to apply for custody of your grandchild