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  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Cool How Can a Mother Get Custody Back From the Father

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

    Ok so I want to help my girlfriend get back her 5 yr old daughter from the childs father and his mother. My girlfriend is 25 yrs old and had stable housing until the birth of her child when my girlfriends mother kicked her out.. At that time the father of the child was incarcerated and the grandmother (fathers mother) allowed my girlfriend to stay there with her child. They had their owwn issues and my girlfriend could not take any more so she decided to leave and roomed with a friend in a 2 bedroom but left the child with the grandmother because she didnt want to jump from house to house with her daughter until she found her own place.

    Seeing as the child was being well taken care of at her grandmothers my girlfriend never removed the child from there. The father was released in late 2010 and since his release he has made it difficult for my girlfriend to see her daughter. We were all supposed to plan something several weeks ago for the childs 5th birthday which is today but he decided to take the daughter to jersey on his own and plan something himself and has not been answering her phone calls so that she can pick up the child to be with her for a while. Currently my girlfriend is out of work but was going to school and is staying with me.. She has custody of her child and he is not on the birth certificate but the child has his last name. I know she has to obtain work and get her own place but can she get her daughter with the police and go into a family shelter and get help with getting back on her feet? What issues may the courts present since the child has been in their household?

    The father has no job, has a GED which he got in jail.. Like i said he is refusing to allow my girlfriend to see her daughter and she wants to get her back. She was adopted and led a difficult life but i love her very much and will help her with everything she needs to do to get her daughter

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    Honestly?

    Dad has a great chance at getting custody.

    While it's true that Mom has custody - and as such should be able to retrieve the child at any time - Dad certainly has status quo on his side and he will likely file a petition for primary custody. Since the child has been in his care for over a year, his chances are better than good.

    Mom also needs to think about what's best for the child. The child has been with Dad and grandma for how long now? Is it honestly in the child's best interest to disrupt her from the only home she's had for that time?

    Remember, this isn't about Mom. This about the child.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    Even though he has a criminal history, assault, robbery etc? The childs address on paper is my girlfriends mothers house but the child has stayed at the grandmothers residence My girlfriend lived with the child and grandmother for the first 3 1/2 years and left before the father of the child was released from jail. This past year she has tried her best to be there all the time for her child but he makes it difficult and the grandmother makes it difficult herself.

    Would it make it any better if she could prove that she is stable has income and her own place when she does get it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    His history is meaningless. Your girlfriend left her there, and Dad is apparently fit to take care of the child.

    Now with that said - what exactly do the CURRENT custody orders say?

    What exactly has your girlfriend done to see the child?

    And may I ask - how long have you been on the scene? (Yes, there's a reason I'm asking )
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    To be honest I dont know the answer to that. Her response is that she does not believe there are custody orders, when the child was born the father was incarcerated and the father was not put on the birth certificate and he has never filed a petition himself.

    Im sorry I did not answer some of your questions but I have been on the scene for 2 yrs now. My girlfriend has called the grandmother several times to go pick her up but the grandmother will tell her to call the father of the child, and when she does that he will sometimes allow her to pick the child up but most of the time just ignores her calls. I was thinking that maybe she just go get her daughter with the authorities and go into a shelter with her daughter until everything is in place, at least the daughter will be with her

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    Technically yes, she can.

    But she needs to stop and think - or at least, you do.

    This child has NOT been in the full time care of her mother for over a year now. This is a little girl who has a home, who has familiarity and stability. There is no danger to her, there is no issue of her being neglected or abused.

    Why is it in HER best interest to be ripped away from that?

    Because Mom has now decided she wants to be full time Mom again? It doesn't work that way. So sure, Mom can take her ID, and the child's birth certificate, and try to retrieve the child. (The police will likely tell her it's a civil matter and likely won't force a handover). She should then expect Dad to file immediately for primary custody.

    And is that really fair to the child to put her through that?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    I agree with you to some extent. The mother left her there because it indeed was in the childs best interest. I am sure my girlfriend would have no problem leaving her there if only she were to get to see her child as she pleases but since she isnt being allowed to she wants to do whatever she has to do to be able to. She isnt deciding now that she wants to be a fulltime mother, she was a mom who left her daughter where she knew she was safe but now is being kept from her

    Youre right, it isnt fair to the child but is it fair to keep a mother from her child as well?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    I know you're involved emotionally, and I'm a stepparent myself so I do get it, but you need to take some steps back and let her deal with it. It's entirely possible that Dad feels as if Mom wants to take the child and insert you as New Dad and that's going to make him less than excited about the prospect of joint custody or anything else.


    To reiterate:

    Mom is the sole custodial parent at this point. There is nothing in the law stopping her from retrieving her child (though again, the police may not want to enforce anything). In fact, if he's not legally established as the father, he really can't withhold the child (though again, the police may not want to get involved, and even if it went to court he may get no punishment at all).

    Mom does need to think about the child's best interests though. Again, it's not about Mom or her hurt feelings.

    There's nothing stopping her from filing herself to establish custody and visitation though, and she could even start the process on Tuesday morning (I believe many places are closed Monday).

    I do think she should speak with a local attorney.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    You're right, I am very emotionally attached here but I just hate to see situations like this occur especially to someone you love. I also think it may be in my girlfriends best interest to get on her feet and find work/place where both can live in order to obtain custody do you agree? I would think if she took it to court now they may definitely award him primary custody because of her situation

    I must thank you very much for your advice, it has put a lot in perspective for me I appreciate it

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to Obtain Girlfriends Child from the Father

    Mom doesn't even have a way to support the child/place for her to live? Even if mom had a chance of obtaining primary custody with those things (which doesn't seem likely at all), she has now taken her chances from almost nil to absolutely nil.

    When/if mom gets these things in the future, just because she will have improved her own circumstances doesn't mean that the circumstances for the child will have changed. Mom cannot just take the child when convenient for her. Waiting to file for custody later when she "gets herself together" just gives dad even more time that the child will have lived with him - although he has plenty already - and a more solid case that she should stay put.

    Mom absolutely should get a set and enforceable schedule for spending time with the child, however. The child should be developing a close relationship with her mother, and it sounds as is that has been difficult to establish so far.

    And mom should also file to establish a support order so that she will be responsible to financially support her child as well.

    The best thing you can do for mom is to encourage her to take some action for herself to accomplish these things.

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