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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    My question involves grandparents rights in the State of: Indiana

    I have an 18 month old son and my ex-boyfriends parents are trying to get visitation rights. This all started when my ex told me he wanted no part in my son's life. He has never paid support, never had visitation, and has not tried to see the child. He tries to come around me and due to his crazy psycho attitude and the history of battery and verbal abuse, my family and i issued a restraining order against him.

    He has been in and out of trouble with drugs and alcohol and is currently in jail due to failing a probationary drug test. I don't want him or his family or their influences around my son. However, his family still is pushing me to let them see and spend time with my baby.

    They are not innocent people, they were around, and knew about the abuse their son caused me in their own home and never spoke up about that as well as other situations. They threaten me with legal actions saying that they will fight for custody if their son won't. What kind of actions that they plan on taking are going to hold up in court?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    Well, they can try to obtain visitation - but they're not going to get far at all.

    Their son is expected to file for visitation himself, and they'd then be expected to see the child during his parenting time. If he chooses not to do that, then that's who the grandparents should be angry at.

    Furthermore they don't have any chance at custody at all. Period. Even if. Unless they prove that you're BOTH unfit.

    IF you're served with something, do come back and update.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    My thoughts exactly. They should be sending their threatening letters to their son and not to me. If they really wanted to see him they would be more focused on getting their son that lives with them to grow up and be the father he should be.

    I am a very fit parent. HE is NOT! I work full time, go to school pursuing a degree part time, and am a great parent daily. I am striving to provide a better life for my child while he does the exact opposite. I just don't want to find myself being forced by a court to allow them time, when I don't want my son growing up around those influences. We all know how much a family influences a child and theirs and his are ones I do not want in my child's life.

    What about grandparent's rights that I keep hearing about? In Indiana it says that grandparents of a child out of wedlock can petition for visitation, and that if they can prove that they've tried to gain contact with the child it could be granted. Is this a problem I could be seeing in the near future?

    The restraining order that is being held against him isn't up until august 31, 2011. So I figure until them they can't really do anything, but I want to be prepared.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    here is the relevant statute


    On the contrary - they have to prove that visitation is in the child's best interest. Not theirs. And the court WILL look for an existing bond between the grandparents and the grandchild.

    Further, if paternity hasn't been established they have no standing at all to begin with.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    Paternity was established the day after birth. However, He has never tried to obtain visitation or custody and has never paid support. I feel like if he hasn't taken any of the steps in almost two years to try and fight for him, then why would his parents have any rights? Me being a fit parent as well as how my family helps out should be all that matters now, right? The court wouldn't allow grandparents visitation in this case, if the parent themselves haven't even attempted would they?

    He has told me he wanted to sign over his rights as a parent, but I feel like his parents forbid it and want to see the child so won't allow it. He is 20, but lives with his parents.

    I'm almost curious as to if they would force him to try and get visitation just so that the child would be around them. They are very manipulative people, so I would not put it past them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    Well, we can never say that something will "never happen".

    So, to be fair, we must allow for the possibility - however slim - that the grandparents will sue you for visitation themselves and actually win.

    What they won't get, is the Standard Visitation for a NCP. At most they would get a few hours on a weekend, perhaps twice a month.

    If Dad files for some sort of joint custody and/or visitation, then he'll likely get it. You will not be able to dictate whether or not he allows the grandparents any visitation during his parenting time however unless you can prove that they represent an actual danger to the child.

    You indicated that you had perhaps lived with the grandparents. When did you leave?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    I have never lived with the Dad or the grandparents. My son's father lives in the same household as the paternal grandparents.

    With his record, being in jail now for drug use, and the history of violence. Is it really likely that he'll get joint custody even if he were to apply for it now?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    Phew - I was concerned for just a second that you'd lived WITH Dad with his parents. That may have given them a stronger position.

    No worries there though.

    Joint legal custody - perhaps. Joint physical - perhaps. Depends on a few things, really (and please understand that joint physical doesn't mean 50/50 timeshare!). Whether the violence convictions are recent, what they were, how long he's going to be in jail, etc., etc.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    No, I have read that that would give a stronger petition by the grandparents, but no worries.

    The battle for custody is what I fear might be a future problem once he is out of jail. That is if he tries to go that route.

    So my final question to you is, from a legal standpoint, what should I lookout for, or avoid doing to give the grandparents any advantage in court if they were to go that route?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Grandparents Trying to Get Custody of My Son

    With regards to GP visitation: If they file, agree to NOTHING in mediation. If you agree to ANY visitation, you're not only opening the doors for them to file for MORE at a later date, but you'll make it very difficult to change your mind later. Force the grandparents to take it in front a judge. The judge will decide based upon the merits of the case. Start researching the likes of Troxel - the law is in YOUR favor, and there is a presumption that you know what's in your child's best interest - the grandparents will have to prove that visitation against your wishes is best for the child.

    With regards to your ex and custody: There isn't really a whole bunch you can do to prevent him from getting at least regular visitation. If he keeps his nose clean, he'll likely get joint legal custody at some point in the future (if not immediately). You will likely remain the primary custodial parent.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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