how to get custody of grandchildrenMore and more New Hampshire grandparents are finding themselves in the position of raising grandsons and granddaughters.  There are many reasons that grandparents are awarded “custody” of their grandkids (in most cases known as “guardianship of minors”), including:  the parents are handicapped, the parents have drug or alcohol problems, the parents have neglected or abused the children, the parents are in prison, or the parents are teenagers and are too young to care for their children.

If your son or daughter is unable to raise their kids, and/or you have legitimate concern for the safety and/or well-being of your grandchildren, you need to take the following steps to protect them:

How New Hampshire Residents Can Get Guardianship of Grandchildren – Step 1: 

Hire an experienced family law attorney that you trust to help you file for guardianship.  It’s particularly important to do this if your son or daughter opposes the guardianship.  Your lawyer will file a Petition for Guardianship of Minor in the New Hampshire Circuit Court – Family Division, typically based on where the children reside or are located.  Circuit Court locations include Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Goffstown, Merrimack, Hooksett, Franklin, Hillsborough, Derry, Brentwood, and Salem.

How New Hampshire Residents Can Get Guardianship of Grandchildren – Step 2: 

What if your grandchildren are living in a situation where they may be injured or harmed?  Your family law attorney will request in the Petition for Guardianship emergency orders, called “ex parte” orders – to grant you temporary guardianship. This will permit you to take immediate custody of the kids. The court typically decides the same day whether it will issue emergency orders. The court will also schedule a hearing on the guardianship.

How New Hampshire Residents Can Get Guardianship of Grandchildren – Step 3: 

Meet with your lawyer to prepare for the guardianship hearing, which both you and the parents will attend.  At this Hearing you, your son or daughter, the other parent, and your witnesses will take the stand, give testimony, and answer questions posed by both attorneys.  Your testimony and that of your witnesses is crucial.  It is this testimony that the judge will use to issue orders as to whether a permanent guardianship over your grandchildren will be granted.

Please Note:  There may be some limited circumstances in which a grandparent may participate in and seek “custody” of grandchildren in a  “custody” case in the Circuit Court – Family Division.  To find out if your situation fits within these circumstances, you need to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.

For immediate expert feedback (and a confidential perspective about your situation), please contact Attorney Grabler directly at (603) 669-2933. The call is free. She will help assess the specifics of your case. She will recommend the best course of action. Prefer email? Write to her: here.


This FAQ brought to you by Attorney Edrea M. Grabler of Family Law New Hampshire.
Manchester, NH divorce lawyer Edrea M. Grabler helps New Hampshire families in divorce, custody and property cases. Whether you’re getting divorced in Manchester, Nashua, Concord or in any city in the State of New Hampshire, Attorney Edrea M. Grabler is a lawyer who helps divorce clients get the custody, property and way of life they deserve. Are you considering divorce? Do you need changes or “modifications” to your divorce? Do you have a specific question about divorce — perhaps alimony, custody or property? Whether you’re just beginning to think about getting a divorce or you need to hire a divorce lawyer immediately, pick up the phone and call Edrea M. Grabler at Family Law New Hampshire for a free consultation. Attorney Edrea M. Grabler has over 20 years experience in helping fathers, mothers and families obtain their best possible custody, property and financial outcomes in New Hampshire divorce cases.