Many grandparents may worry for their grandchildren’s safety during a divorce. 

However, learning more about custody rights helps you be there if you feel called to be a legal guardian. 

Potential situations 

Many custody cases arise when grandparents step in to take care of grandchildren who are underage and cannot take care of themselves. Either because of the parents’ death or inability to care for their children, you may find that your grandchildren do not have anyone to be a legal guardian. 

Sometimes, parents may remain in their child’s life but not have full custody. Grandparents may also end up sharing physical or legal custody with the parents in that instance. 

Shared custody 

It is possible to share custody as a grandparent, but it only typically happens when the child’s parents are completely unable to care for him or her. If the child’s parents are still alive or able to fulfill their duties as a guardian, you may only get visitation rights. 

It is also possible for you to be a foster parent for the child. One of the most important ways to test your capability is to ask what would be in the best interest of your grandchild. This is a common question courts ask during the process, since it puts the child’s needs first in any living situation. 


If you are able to show you are a protective and caring guardian, you are more likely to gain custody. This includes having a strong relationship with your grandchild. 

Although there is no one concrete way for you to prove this in court, you may showcase the amount of times you talk with him or her, or even how often you visit.