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What are legal forms of temporary custody of grandchildren?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Child Custody & Parenting Time |

There are many ways for grandparents to gain temporary custody of grandchildren in Yakima, Washington. Sometimes, grandparents take on extra responsibilities to help with the grandchildren, or they get calls from social services to find their grandchildren a place to live. There are various ways to formalize care for grandchildren.

Physical custody with power of attorney

Grandparents who are responsible for their grandchildren’s well-being every day have physical custody. Parents may ask grandparents to take temporary custody of the children. The grandparents’ visitation rights in this situation are usually informal, but a parent can sign a form and give it to the court. The court keeps children with their grandparents until a certain date, but parents can rescind the contract.

Some states allow grandparents to file for power of attorney if the parents are missing. Other states have medical and education consent forms in place of power of attorney.

Grandparents as foster parents

Grandparents can offer to be foster parents. Usually, this happens when the state removes the children from their parents. The grandparents gain physical custody, but the state keeps legal custody. The state will make decisions about the well-being of the children. Some states allow grandparents to raise their grandchildren without much oversight. Other states will send the grandparents to training and certification first. The state pays grandparents like other foster parents. Grandparents also deal with social service visits and evaluations. Social services will notify adult relatives when children enter the system.

Legal and physical custody

Grandparents can petition the court for legal custody of their grandchildren. Parents can petition the court to regain child custody from the grandparents. While the grandparents have physical custody, parents usually still have visitation rights.

Adoption is a more permanent form of extending the grandparents’ visitation rights. Adoption ends any parental rights and foster care payments for the children. Grandparents who adopt grandchildren may be eligible for an adoption subsidy or tax credit. The state may still offer medical care after adoption.