30 answers

Fighting for Custody of My Grandson

I am raising my grandson and I have had him since 2006, his mother which is my daughter
has made no attempt to raise him or help out financially. I feel that it would be in the best intrest in the child if I become the legal guardian, my home and lifestyle is a secure and stable home. What rights does his mom have? I am afraid to lose this battle simply because she is his mom, even though she has not been the one raising him.
She has even filed her income taxes with him as her dependent, even though I am the one that has been taking care of his personal needs as well as day care. What right do I really have?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This is a tough one, since she is an adult and the biological mom, she has the rights. It's not fair that irresponsible people get to by parents but they do! Good luck. You cnna still be a VERY strong influence.

1 mom found this helpful

You just need a really great lawyer. If she is on drugs that will go against her and request only supervised visitations. Do not expect her to ever give you support because even if ordered she most likely wont give you a dime. You don't say how you ended up having him with you. Maybe she would let you adopt him.

More Answers

Hi M.,

I used to work for CPS as the guardianship social worker for our county. I know this----you are saving your grandson's life. I am sure you know this too.

You can get the paperwork to file for temporary legal guardianship from the county courthouse and you can be granted temporary guard. in 10 days. The paperwork is a little complicated and it might help to hire a paralegal to help you fill them out. Make sure you find one that has experience with this. Hiring an attorney can be expensive and I'm not sure you need one really unless your daughter contests the guardanship. She can contest, but I am sure you have mounds of reasons for wanting to do this and the guardianship paperwork will give you space to list them. Your daughter will have to prove that the things you mention are not true. I would not mention to your daughter that you are doing this. If you do, she might come and get your grandson.

Once you get the guardianship, you have full legal custody. Your daughter has the right to have input on medical decisions and educationsl decisions but visitation will be entirely up to you. You should also file for Non-needy Relative which are funds distributed monthly to you to raise our grandson. If you feel uncomfortable with taking the money (usually between $300-500/month, plus he will get Medi-cal, save it in an account for him. It is better and easier to get it now than to find out he needs counseling or some other special service in a couple of years and then try to get it. The guardianship is absolutely necessary 100%, no doubt if the child is living with you and the biggest reason is that you cannot get medical treatment, other than a doctor's visit without parental consent.

CPS would rather place children with family members. You will most likely win this as long as your life is going okay because they will check to make sure your home is okay, anyone living with you is okay, you have no criminal record of harming a child etc.

If you want to send me a personal message through Mamasource, I will give you my phone number and help you that way. Otherwise, it'll take too long to type and might bore everyone else.

V.

4 moms found this helpful

Hi M.,

Sounds like a very tough situation. I would think that if your daughter does not live with you and makes no attempt to see her child than you might have a case. That would mean abandonment. Sounds like she just wants a tax write-off to me. Do you claim either one of them? That is a big issue if you are the one raising this child but he lives with you and she is claiming him. May get harder if she lives in the same household though. Not easy to prove that you have been paying for everything and raising the child.

I certainly would fight for your rights because you seem to have a huge interest in the child and what she is doing is illegal is she does not even reside in the same residence!

I understand you being afraid but if she has made NO attempt to contact your grandson or support that child what so ever than you certainly have a good more in your favor.

Good luck! I'll be rooting for you!

2 moms found this helpful

M.,

I suggest you talk to a lawyer asap. Let this person know everything that you have been going through and what you are seeking. Once you file a petition with the courts for full custody, you can prove your case to the judge that you are the one with the most stable, loving home for this child. It is whatever is in the best interest of the child. I think that you have an excellent shot at full custody. Good luck to you and God bless you for caring for your precious grandchild!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.~

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

It's so wonderful that you are in this childs' life. Your love may be the only thing that will keep her safe :o)

Blessings....

:o) N.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like you love your grandson a great deal and I'm sure you are concerned to do what is best for him. Are you sure its going to be a fight? You don't say a whole lot about your daughter - whether she is drug addicted, mentally ill, just immature, or whether she is physically dangerous to your grandson. The reason I wonder about those issues is that I would be concerned not only about his long-term safety, but also about his relationship with his mother. I wouldn't want him to see a "fight" and the possible anger between his mom and grandma. A kid really needs, if at all possible, to know and have a relationship with his mother. I would be interested in in keeping some kind of cordial and functional relationship between the child and his mother, even if it were determined that living with her was not in his best interest, and I would try to approach the whole situation in a way that not only considers where it is best for him to live but also how to keep him involved with his mother to whatever degree is safe. If things get ugly between you and your daughter, this will inevitably hurt your grandson, wherever he ends up living. And he will need to be able to see you both in a good light (even if his mom is a wreck, he needs to be able to love her without feeling like it means he is disloyal to you). So I would not only get a lawyer involved to help with the legal issues, but get a social worker or therapist involved to help you consider how to do this in a way that is most sensitive to the long-term emotional needs of a young child.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
Sadly, grandparents don't have any rights in California. I love that you are ensuring a good stable life for your grandson and it certainly sounds like you intend to continue. I suggest you find your local family law center and request guuardianship papers. There is usually a cost involved, don't know how much in your location, but I think it'll be worth while for your peace of mind and the continued security of your grandson.

Adoption is another possibility, but both of the child's parents have to agree, if the father can be found. If he isn't available, the court will facilitate a search and after a set period of time, if his whereabouts remain unknown, the court will find that the adoption can happen without him. Of course, the biological mother retains her parental rights and she has the right to fight to keep her child, even if she actually does not take care of him. It's quite difficult to prove a mother "unfit" so you might be best advised to seek legal guardianship.
Hope this was helpful. S.

1 mom found this helpful

This is a tough one, since she is an adult and the biological mom, she has the rights. It's not fair that irresponsible people get to by parents but they do! Good luck. You cnna still be a VERY strong influence.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

What a difficult position. I am sorry for the anxiety you must feel. How is the relationship with your daughter? It sounds as though she is not very mature (not seeing how much you provide and of course, you should claim him). Of course, that is not the most important, it is the small boy who needs a community of family supporting and nurturing his development. If he is unsafe with your daughter, I would begin documenting everything, including acquiring letters of reference from people who are privy to the situation to build a case to gain custody legally. I would also obtain a family lawyer and push for custody if you feel the child is in harm if he goes back to his mother. On the other hand, if she is just immature, in a few years, she may grow into a woman capable of providing a loving home for her son and if that is the case, even though you have provided all his care till now as a mother should, she will likely get him back, unless you have made some concrete custodial motives. Would your daughter sign custody over at this pont? I think that would really be easiest, then if she does grow up at some point in the future, you have a lot of control over how quickly she comes back into her son's life. My response seems to have rambled, I hope it was a little helpful and I do wish you and your family the very best for all of you.

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