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According to the U.S. Census, 7.1 million grandparents live with their minor grandchildren. The role of grandparents is very important in many families.

But when parents divorce or there is a relationship breakdown between parents and grandparents, it can impact the children. The rights of grandparents can play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren, and Maryland recognizes this importance.

The impact of grandparents

Grandparents often hold a special place in a child’s life. They can provide love, stability and a sense of continuity. In some cases, grandparents may even step in as primary caregivers when parents are unable to fulfill their responsibilities due to various reasons such as illness, incarceration or substance abuse.

Grandparents’ rights in custody battles

In the United States, the legal rights of grandparents regarding child custody vary from state to state. In Maryland, there are certain rights they have and can fight for.  Even so, there are some requirements to make a claim.

Grandparents must demonstrate that they have a significant and ongoing relationship with the child and that their involvement is in the child’s best interests. Courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. Grandparents must show that their involvement benefits the child’s physical, emotional or psychological well-being.

Generally, there is a legal presumption in favor of a child’s biological parents. Grandparents must overcome this presumption by providing compelling evidence that the child would suffer harm without their involvement.

Legal challenges and considerations

Navigating the legal process to secure grandparents’ rights in custody battles can be challenging. Grandparents may face resistance from parents, particularly when the parents are in a stable relationship with each other. Ultimately, the guiding principle in these cases remains the best interests of the child, and courts will make decisions accordingly.