Sometimes, divorces are volatile. Both parties may get into physical fights with one another, or one may be physically, emotionally or financially abusive.
When children are caught up in a divorce in a situation where there is domestic violence, it can be dangerous for them.
Georgia is a unique state in that it does allow grandparents a right to seek custody of their grandchildren. In cases where a grandparent believes that their grandchild is in danger, it may be possible for them to seek a restraining or protective order as well as to seek custody.
Generally, grandparents can seek custody of their grandchildren when the parents do not live together. That being said, sometimes protective orders have to be established to protect the children and to make sure they are in a safe environment. It’s possible that a protective order could help remove your grandchildren from the home and move them to yours, which may be in their best interests (at least for the time being).
Filing a protective order petition
To file a protective order petition, you will need a few documents. Reach out to your attorney or local law enforcement with:
- Proof of your identity
- Information about the respondent(s), like their date(s) of birth or home address(es)
- Evidence of abuse or that your grandchildren are in danger
- An explanation of why protection is needed, such as explaining violence that has occurred in the past or that you fear will occur in the future
If you have any witnesses available to support your claims, then they will help build your case for the protective order.
Seek a family violence protective order
As a concerned family member, you can seek a family violence protective order on behalf of your grandchild. Do remember that you may need to go to court hearings while the petition process is being handled. The respondent may be at the full hearing, but you should not expect them to be at the ex parte hearing, which occurs first.
If you have questions, it’s important to get the right support. Get more information about protective orders and then, if you’re concerned about your grandchildren, consider contacting your local police or attorney to get started on the petition.