While grandparents in Springfield, Massachusetts probably hope that their children will go on to be successful mothers and fathers who love and care for their own children properly, the reality is that sometimes children just do not learn the lessons of parenting that they were taught.
It is therefore not as uncommon as one might think for Massachusetts grandparents to be in a situation in which they see that their grandchildren are either being abused or are being neglected and not provided for. Because they love their grandchildren, they may consider what legal options they have for stepping in. This is particularly true if they know that the state Department of Children and Families, or DCF, is considering getting involved and removing their grandchildren to foster care.
In these sorts of situations, so long as DCF has not started its own legal proceedings, the grandparents may have the option of going to court and securing a temporary or permanent guardianship over their grandchildren.
If granted, a guardianship gives friends or family members of a child legal authority to decide a child’s living arrangements and make other big decisions with respect to the child’s well-being. In effect, the guardian is able to, for the most part, assume the day-to-day role as the child’s parent.
When grandparents step into the role of guardian when there are allegations of neglect or abuse, the hope is that they will do a better job of providing their grandchildren with a stable home. For this reason, courts can, in the right circumstances, award guardianship to concerned Massachusetts grandparents, even if one of the parents disagrees with the guardianship.