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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3

    Default How to Regain Custody from Grandparents and Ex-Spouse

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas

    My boyfriend(let's call him R) has a 15 month old(J) with his ex wife. She left saying she wanted nothing to do with the child and signed her rights away and hasn't called or seen the child in 8 months. She has gone out of her way to get the child's medicaid cancelled in an effort to make R mad.

    R was laid off and unable to find work so he signed temporary custody to his parents to make sure J was properly taken care of. R now has a job and his own place. He isn't financially ready to get full custody of J yet( he is currently a temporary hand and wants to get put on as permanent to make sure he has a stable job before moving J again) We asked for J to come stay for the weekend and his parents are refusing.

    For R's other child(currently unborn but due July 20th, let's call him G.) THis is also with the ex wife. She has an order of protection against R for alleged domestic violence(false allegations btw) so he has not been able to contact her in regards to G. She has no job and lives wherever she can find someone to take care of her. This is typically a new boyfriend's house, her aunt(who is a prostitute), or her step-father's. She has no vehicle or drivers license, so if something were to happen to G she would have no way to take him to the ER. We are unsure if the child is actually his, but we are doing a paternity test on the 20th. All of the homes she lives in are smoked in heavily.
    R and I want to get full custody of J and G, but we really don't have the money for a good lawyer. We have some savings, but if all of this is spent on the custody cases we won't have a safety net for the kids. Please help me, I've heard of people self representing but I've heard that more often than not it hurts them more than helping.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis/St. Paul area
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    A little clarification please: you say that the mother "signed her rights away" and that your boyfriend "signed temporary custody to his parents". Were either of these done through the courts? Are they actual court orders with a judge's signature, or are these documents that the parties completed between themselves and perhaps had notarized?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    I'm not 100% sure but I believe they were just notarized. I just heard that once the grandparents have custody of the child for 6 months that they become legal guardians. Is this true?

    If they have temporary custody could we go and take J without going to the courts?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    Notarizing only means that the notary is attesting that the person signing the paperwork showed them some form of proof of identification as accepted by that state as valid. It does NOT have the force of making any paperwork "legal" or recognized by the courts or anyone else. The ONLY thing that counts as far as custody is concerned is a COURT ORDER. If the child has lived with the grandparents as the primary caregiver for some period of time, they can gain standing to request custody from the court. But won't happen automatically, they would have to formally petition for it, and both parents (assuming a COURT has not terminated parental rights) would be able to contest the grandparent's petition. The longer the child remains in the care of the child, the stronger case grandparents have to be awarded custody if they seek it.
    Catherine NeSmith
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    UPDATE

    It wasn't notarized it actually went to court.

    The grandparents have had j for almost a year. They said that r can't have him at all(not even weekends) until he pays off his debt to them and when we get married. Please tell me that they can't do this. It is his son and they can't use him as a pawn in their game to get what they want.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Posts
    71,760

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    If the grandparents have guardianship through a court, dad can petition the court to terminate the guardianship. If the court specified steps that he must take to regain custody, it would make sense for him to complete those steps before petitioning to terminate the guardianship.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    Quote Quoting Ellie1334
    View Post
    It wasn't notarized it actually went to court.
    So the COURT ordered that the GP's were to have custody. That means dad has a very difficult battle ahead; first to try to get custody back regarding this child, and it's absolutely gonna work against him regarding requesting custody of the unborn child. Are you certain that this was TEMPORARY custody? If so, the court will usually talk about the REASONS why the child was removed from the custody of the parent and those issues will need to be rectified before the court is going to revisit it.

    They said that r can't have him at all(not even weekends) until he pays off his debt to them and when we get married.
    The grandparents need to follow whatever is in the court's order. If the order says that dad gets visitation, then dad is entitled to visitation. If the GPs refuse or are not obeying the order, dad needs to get back to court to exercise his rights as spelled out under the order. If the order does NOT specify visitation for dad, then the grandparents aren't obligated to allow it (even IF dad pays off any debt) and dad will need to get custody back by addressing the issues that caused the change in guardianship and then petitioning the court to regain custody. Either way, dad's path is going to be via the court.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis/St. Paul area
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Father Getting Custody from Grandparents; Also Father Getting New Born from Mothe

    They can't set conditions like that. The only thing that they can do is deny R visitation. If, however, the court order allows visitations for R, then he needs to attempt to exercise them according to the order (understanding that attempting to exercise said visitations will not necessarily compel the grandparents to abiide by a court order). If the grandparents deny those visitations, then R can file a motion in court requesting that they be held in contempt.

    As to your original question, R could represent himself in court in a petition to regain custody of his child, however, after being apart from him for almost year, it will be a bit of a battle. Lawyers are a worthwhile investment for something of this nature. R would be well advised to at least sit down with a few attorneys for a consultation about his case. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.

    Regarding R's unborn child, nothing can be done until the child is born. Continue with the plans to do a paternity test (through the courts) and then R should probably plan to file for child support and visitation. Gaining custody immediately after the birth is unlikely based upon the information that you have given. But again, this is something that can and should be discussed with a few local attorneys.

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