Mediating Grandparent Rights and Family Agreements

Family Members must often step up to help when a child’s best interests are at issue.

In today’s legal environment, mediation is often the best way for family members to help out when a parent is struggling.  In focusing on the best interests of the children, we recognize that sometimes an extended family member can temporarily or permanently provide the best environment for a child when a biological parent is struggling with mental health or addiction issues.

Grandma and Grandpa with grandkidOvercoming the legal hurdles in grandparent rights cases can present difficulties. While the United States Supreme Court has theoretically handcuffed judges in recent grandparent rights cases, there are still steps we can take through mediation to assert grandparents rights.

Grandparents rights cases require a creative approach. At Leibenguth Law, we  recognize the obstacles in grandparent rights cases.  We focus on the welfare and best interests of the children.

Each grandparents rights case has its own unique and often tragic issues; domestic violence, drug addiction, alcohol abuse or mental health challenges.  Often what is best for the child is the positive influence of a grandparent or other family member who can provide stability while the child’s parents work out the problems of their lives.

Often parents recognize their own limitations and seek out help. Other times these struggling parents must be approached with empathy and understanding.  But all parents love their children and deep down want what is best for them!  We work hard with family members to assure that a plan is in place that sees to a continuation of the parent-child relationship while also assuring that the child does not suffer based upon a struggling parent’s mistakes.

We are not necessarily suggesting permanent custody arrangements in all of these matters.  Often these agreements take the form of a “temporary housing agreement” or perhaps an “agreement to assure the child is provided health care and educational assurances.”  Other times we mediate arrangements to care for a child during “in house” or “out of house” addiction treatment.  This is what we mean when we say “it takes a village” to raise a child in today’s world.   Yes, these agreements can take time, patience and compassion to put together.  But a parenting plan agreement between extended family members often represents a child’s best hope when parents are struggling.  We can help!