Many grandparents wish to file a custody action so they can spend some time with their grandchildren. In addition to the factors considered for grandparent standing in general, there are special factors the court may consider when deciding if grandparents, or even great-grandparents, have standing to obtain partial or supervised physical custody.
One factor for grandparent standing in these types of cases is when a parent of the child is deceased, a parent or grandparent of that deceased parent may file an action for partial or supervised physical custody. Under this factor, the grandparent on the deceased parent's side may want to ensure the child has a relationship with this side of the family, so the grandparent will have standing to file for partial or supervised physical custody.
Another factor to consider is in a case where the natural parents of the child have been separated for at least six months, or have commenced and continued a divorce proceeding. Here, the parents are separated or getting divorced, and the grandparent may want to ensure a place in the custody schedule to have time with the child.
Finally, where the child lived with the grandparent for twelve consecutive months (excluding brief absences) and is removed from the home by a parent, a grandparent has standing to file an action within six months. Here if a grandparent had already been caring for the child for a year, he or she has standing to file an action against a parent who just takes the child form the home.