Giving temporary custody to grandparents

Giving temporary custody to grandparents is a decision that shouldn’t made lightly without proper consideration and thought.

Child Custody is the term which defines who has responsibility for the care and welfare of a child. Ordinarily where there is a breakdown of the parents relationship through divorce or separation, one parent will have custody of the child whilst the other parent will maintain regular contact. However, during the course of the divorce or following the divorce the parents may not be in a position to care for the child and may resort to giving temporary custody to grandparents.

Our child lawyers understand that following a marital breakdown or separation there can be many issues which need to be resolved. Most of the issues surround the children from the relationship. At Kabir Family law, our child lawyers understand and deal with all aspects of child law ranging from child contact, child custody, parental responsibility and child maintenance.

Our child lawyers understand the concerns of parents who are looking to divorce and separate and want to resolve their child law issues.

Article Contents

What is temporary custody?

Temporary child custody is where the child is looked after for a short period. This usually happens during a parent’s inability to care for the children. This could take place during the course of a parent’s divorce, or when parents face other situations which mean that the child’s welfare and health is likely to be affected by living with the. In such a situations parents can consider giving temporary custody to grandparents, transfer custody of child to grandparents or involves giving custody of child to someone else temporarily.   

Can you give someone temporary custody of your child?

A parent who usually has custody of the child is responsible for making key decisions concerning a child. These decisions cover situations which affect the child’s welfare and interests. Where a parent feels they are unable to adequately maintain a child or are restricted in their ability to care for a child then they can consider giving custody of child to someone else. This transfer of custody will usually be short term and temporary until the parent can continue looking after their child.

What are the common reasons for parents giving custody of child to someone else?

A parent may consider giving custody of child to someone else where they are temporarily unable to care for the child. The most common reasons for a parent giving custody of child to someone else are usually where a parent is suffering from an illness. During this illness a parent may not be able to care for the child. Another common reason is extended work obligations. A parent may have work commitments which may prevent the parent from being able to adequately look after the child. Parents may also need to go away or out of the country for some time. In such situation’s parents could transfer custody of child to grandparent or someone else. Another reason which is not as common is where a parent is in the military and are unable to exercise their parental rights due to this.

Can a parent give temporary custody to a grandparent?

Grandparents can obtain temporary custody of grandchildren when the parents for some unforeseen circumstances are unable to care for their children. Usually in this instance grandchildren will begin living with the grandparents. By virtue of a parent giving temporary custody to grandparents and them caring for the grandchildren doesn’t necessarily mean that the parents transfer custody of child to grandparent. Effectively grandparents are just caring for their grandchildren and are treated as carers. They would be unable to make decisions concerning their grandchildren unless they are granted legal custody of the children. Therefore, if whilst living with the grandparents, the grandchildren encounter a medical issue or require attending a school trip, grandparents will not have any rights to consent unless they have legal custody or are a legal guardian.

How to give temporary custody of a minor to a grandparent?

A parent is capable of giving temporary custody of grandchildren to grandparents by mutual agreement. This is where the child will only live with the grandparents and they will have no part in making any decisions concerning the child. For this arrangement to work there is no need to apply to the family court or seek a court order when giving temporary custody to grandparents.

If however legal custody of the child needs to be transferred to a grandparent then an application will need to be made for temporary guardianship. The temporary guardianship would mean the grandparents are made a guardian in addition to the parent and this will last for a limited time. On acquiring this temporary guardianship, the grandparents will be able to make decision for the child similar to a parent would.

How do I terminate a temporary guardianship to get my children back from grandparents?

If the temporary guardianship which has been granted, then it will expire on the date the courts outlined. In such a situation to terminate the guardianship early, parents can look to try and amicably agree this with the grandparent.

In order to terminate a temporary guardianship which, the courts have not provided and expiry date for, the parents can look to reach an amicable agreement with the grandparent. If the grandparent agrees mutually then there would be no need to attend a court.

If the parents and grandparents are unable to agree on voluntary terminating a temporary guardianship, then the parent will need to make an application to ask a judge to end the guardianship. The judge will need to be satisfied that there has been a change in circumstances since when the guardianship was put in place. The parent will need to prove that they are now capable of meeting the care and the needs of the child and it will be in the best interests of the child to return to them. At Kabir Family Law our child law specialists can assist you in making the relevant application to the court to assist you in getting custody back from grandparents.

Can grandparents get custody over father?

Quite often a father may want to obtain custody for his child. However, the mother may be looking to transfer custody of child to grandparent. Generally, the father will have the right to his child if he was named on the child’s birth certificate or was married to the mother. The father would therefore have parental responsibility over the child. As grandparents do not have parental responsibility of the child, the father may be best placed to have custody for the child.

However, there may be circumstances where the father may not be traceable or is unfit to cater for the basic needs of the child. In such situations the question is can grandparents get custody over the father. If the father does not have parental responsibility then the grandparents can get custody over the father, similarly if the father is unable to adequately care for a child again the courts can grant custody to grandparents over the father if it is in the best interests and welfare of the child. To find out more information on temporary child custody grandparents and to assess your prospects contact our family lawyers in Northampton today. Our child specialists will be able to provide you with a consultation to discuss your options.

If a mother dies does the father automatically get custody?

A common question following the death of the mother is if a mother dies does the father automatically get custody. The key consideration here is whether the mother was the sole parental responsibility holder or whether this was shared with the father.

If the mother was the sole parental responsibility holder then there will be no legal presumption that following the death of the mother, the father will automatically get child custody unless a mother has drawn up a wish of intention under a Will.

If the mother has appointed a guardian in her Will then it is likely that the guardian will get custody of the child before the father. This guardian could be anyone including a relative or even the grandparents. In such a situation a father may need to go to the court to establish paternity and then consider obtaining custody of the child.

If the mother shared parental responsibility with the father, then the father will possibly be given custody of the child considering he already has parental responsibility. However, if the father is unfit to care for the child and if the child is likely to suffer from harm if they lived with the father then the courts can decide on giving custody of child to someone else or giving temporary custody to grandparents. 


How to write a temporary guardianship letter?

In situations where a parent is giving temporary custody to grandparents they may decide on writing a temporary guardianship letter to provide physical custody. When writing this letter, the parents must confirm who they are giving custody for, the duration of the temporary custody and the reason for giving temporary custody. The letter must also provide the contactable details of the parent who is granting the custody in case there are any issues and the parent needs to be contacted. The temporary guardianship is a simple letter which a parent can prepare themselves. Alternatively, parents can obtain legal advice and assistance on preparing this letter. The advantage of such a letter is that it would assist the parent in getting custody back from grandparents without any issues.

Contact us today for advice on temporary custody of grandchildren

At Kabir family law our child specialists specialise in temporary custody grandparents and could also provide advice and assistance on giving temporary custody to grandparents. Contact us today on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or let us call you back.