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Panel says age a problem in child custody case

There are many grandparents in Ohio who have petitioned the court to be considered as guardians over their grandchildren in child custody cases. Some may have found out there can be numerous obstacles in their quest to gain child custody. One woman in another state has been told by a citizen review panel she is too old to be given custody of her great-granddaughter.

The 73-year-old woman was asked by the Department of Family and Children Services to take 5-month-old girl when the girl's mother was fighting a legal battle over drug use at the time. It has been 11 months since then and decisions on permanent custody need to be made. A judge requested an evaluation by the panel, and now he has to decide whether or not to rule according to their recommendation.

The great-grandmother says she has occasional problems with back pain, but it does not hinder her from giving the girl the care she needs and feels the girl is better off with her than in the foster care system. She cannot afford legal representation and hopes DFCS will name her as the girl's guardian. An interview with the man supervising the training of review panel members claims there is no set age limit on custodial recommendations but that each case is evaluated separately.

There are a number of factors that review boards and judges take into consideration when determining custody of a child. The most important element, however, is what will be the best situation for the child. An Ohio attorney with a complete knowledge of family law will be able to help those pursuing a child custody decision.

Source:, "Review board says Dalton grandmother is 'too old' to get custody of great-granddaughter", Hannah Lawrence, Feb. 5, 2018

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