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  1. #1
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    Default How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Indiana. I'm needing this information because our daughter has threatened to move out when she turns 18 (which is a few days away) and keep our grandchild away from us. Her plan is to move in with the father of her child (which he lives with his mother and he's unemployed). Even though the medical bills incurred from the pregnancy are in her name, we have been paying them. We have also been buying things for our grandchild because she's been unable to since she was put on bed rest when she was about 7 months pregnant and the father of the baby hasn't paid anything on this baby. She will be returning to work part-time at the end of this month but until then we will be paying for anything that the baby needs or that our daughter is supposed to be paying for (like her pet supplies, cell phone bill, etc.). I hate to ask but since there is no way that she nor him can financially support this baby in the very near future and we have been, is there any way that we can stop her from taking the baby if she moves out? Or at the least get visitation? Our daughter has a really bad temper issue and it worries me (I've seen her get mad at our dog and hit him or throw him into his cage. She's threatened to kill me on multiple occasions. Others have witnessed this.). The father of our grandchild has a felony record and is on probation. Instead of buying formula for the baby she has bought fast food or most recently she paid for 2 tattoos. We had agreed that even though we don't like the father of our grandchild that we didn't want him or his family left out of the child's life so we have allowed him to stay at our house every other weekend and then on the other weekends they go to his mother's house for the weekend. And his father's family has visited them at our house (I don't know why they haven't spent more time with them..like weekends). I just want to see what I can do to make sure that our grandchild isn't kept away from us. I'm also fearful of what could happen to the child with it's mother's temper and it's father's past and the fact that they have no means (other then us grandparents) to support the child.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    You have no rights to your grandchild.

    If Mom wants to move out and take her baby with her, she has every right to do that. She also has the right to withhold the child from you.

    If you wish to seek grandparent rights , you need to speak with an attorney.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    Quote Quoting KimSA
    View Post
    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Indiana. I'm needing this information because our daughter has threatened to move out when she turns 18 (which is a few days away) and keep our grandchild away from us.
    Which she can do, unless there's a court order to the contrary - such as a visitation order (not easy to get and only issued under specific circumstances which aren't apparent here) or a temporary custody order such as might be issued in a case open with child services.


    Her plan is to move in with the father of her child (which he lives with his mother and he's unemployed).
    Ok. No legal issues there. He can live with his mother, and he's allowed to be unemployed.



    Even though the medical bills incurred from the pregnancy are in her name, we have been paying them.
    If you are her legal guardians and she is a minor, yes, that would make sense.


    We have also been buying things for our grandchild because she's been unable to since she was put on bed rest when she was about 7 months pregnant
    Very fortunate for the baby - many don't have family so helpful, and they suffer because of it.


    and the father of the baby hasn't paid anything on this baby.
    What can be expected when a jobless father is chosen? Until there is a child support order in place, he may be MORALLY obligated to take financial responsibility for his child, but LEGALLY, he's free and clear to not contribute a dime. If the mother wants him to pay child support, she needs to seek child support. Or, once she's out on her own if she applies for welfare or similar services, the government will seek a support order against him to relieve the taxpayers of the burden of supporting the child.


    She will be returning to work part-time at the end of this month but until then we will be paying for anything that the baby needs or that our daughter is supposed to be paying for (like her pet supplies, cell phone bill, etc.).
    Ok. But WHY are you paying for ANYTHING that isn't essential for the baby?


    I hate to ask but since there is no way that she nor him can financially support this baby in the very near future and we have been, is there any way that we can stop her from taking the baby if she moves out?
    Nope. It's her child. Under the law she gets to parent that child as she sees fit, right up until the time the child is found to be in a state of abuse or neglect such that authorities can step in. They can't act on fears and "what ifs".


    Or at the least get visitation?
    If mom's been living in the home, even if you've been providing financial support, and the child is an infant, you'll have a very expensive uphill battle to prove to a court that the CHILD would suffer emotional distress from being removed from you. That's generally only possible for a child several years old (time to build that bond) AND if you've been the primary caretaker (ie mom hasn't been around). Simply having been the financial bedrock won't cut it. By all means you SHOULD consult with a family law attorney experienced in these matters, but from what you've told us, your chances are not good.


    Our daughter has a really bad temper issue and it worries me (I've seen her get mad at our dog and hit him or throw him into his cage.
    Still a "what if" scenario. Unless there has been some incident DIRECTLY involving the child, it won't have impact.


    She's threatened to kill me on multiple occasions. Others have witnessed this.).
    Did any of you file a police report for assault? If not, again, you give the courts little to nothing to work with. If it wasn't reported, it never happened, to the court.


    The father of our grandchild has a felony record and is on probation.
    If there is some specific crime in his past that would prevent him from being around children in general (ie registered sex offender), or this child in particular (child named in a protection order), that's a different matter, but otherwise, felons on probation are allowed to have and live with their children. The courts work under the presumption that mom chose him as the father and that he should be allowed to act as such until there is evidence that he poses some DIRECT danger to the child. Even with an extensive criminal history, unless that history somehow directly relates to danger to the child, it won't matter.


    Instead of buying formula for the baby she has bought fast food or most recently she paid for 2 tattoos.
    Why would she spend her own money when she knows she's got you there to take care of things? That's how 17 year olds work. They're all about me me me.


    We had agreed that even though we don't like the father of our grandchild that we didn't want him or his family left out of the child's life so we have allowed him to stay at our house every other weekend and then on the other weekends they go to his mother's house for the weekend. And his father's family has visited them at our house (I don't know why they haven't spent more time with them..like weekends).
    All of which is great for the child. The downside being that since you've willfully and regularly facilitated the father having access to his child, you can't now come back later and dog on dad for being so bad or potentially bad. It can be a double edged sword.


    I just want to see what I can do to make sure that our grandchild isn't kept away from us.
    Short of getting a court order, nothing.


    I'm also fearful of what could happen to the child with it's mother's temper and it's father's past
    Again, "could happen" won't cut it. Unless there has actually BEEN some incident, or dad's criminal record contains specific offenses that would be seen as automatically putting the child at risk (ie crimes against children), the courts are prepared to let parents be parents, even crappy parents....UNLESS that parenting is found to put the child at risk of abuse or neglect or exposed to actual abuse or neglect.


    and the fact that they have no means (other then us grandparents) to support the child.
    Then either they'll be back with the child, or, they'll seek welfare benefits, or the child will at some point potentially be at risk of neglect or abuse and at THAT point, social services and the courts can intervene (or some combination of these).
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    Thank you both very much for your input. It looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me. I don't trust attorneys much. We wasted over $6000 trying to get custody of my step-son many years ago and then after a couple years and a lot of research that I did my husband was able to file himself, pay $5 to have it mail so that his ex-wife had to sign for it and then we got custody of him.

    I am more determined now since I've kept my grandchild over night twice because my daughter wanted a break and spend the night at a friends house and the she isn't even a month old yet. Also, one morning I took the baby to her & told her that she needed to be changed & fed and she told me to just let her cry because she's been eating too much. I was furious and just took care of her myself. I cannot let a baby or animal do without due to my daughter being lazy. I am the one taking care of the baby nearly every night because my lazy daughter won't get up & take care of the baby and I take care of her part of the day because I'm too exhausted from being up with the baby at night to argue with her about it. At first I was just trying to be nice since she had such a horrible pregnancy & delivery but now that she's doing better, she's just using me and that's getting old. I'm just worried about the baby. I know her temper & how lazy she is. This poor baby doesn't deserve such bad parents that put themselves first or that might physically harm it but I guess that we'll just have to wait for it to happen before we can do anything about it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    Here's the rub.

    If she's unfit, and you've done nothing about it, that paints you with the same colored paint. If she's genuinely unfit (versus young and clueless), you need to get child services involved.

    And if she's not unfit, you have nothing. Not a thing. You cannot prove that you and the child have a maternal/paternal/equivalent bond, and that generally is a requirement before the court will consider a GPV suit.

    I'm sorry, but it's just not likely that the court will award visitation of an infant against the wishes of the fit parent.

    Suing your child is inherently a very hostile act. So you need to be prepared that, if you lose - and based solely on what you've posted here, the chance of you winning such a suit is slim at best (and I'm being generous) - you will likely never see either of them until the grandchild is an adult.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Part of me thinks that it's just because she's young and clueless but another part of me thinks that she's either listening to the wrong people or she's putting herself first. Her sleep is more important the getting up and feeding her 1 month old baby. I had done quite a few of the middle of the night feedings to help her out since she had such a horrible delivery and needed to heal but when I was finally too exhausted (falling asleep while feeding the baby) I took the baby to her and told her that I needed her to finish feeding her because I was afraid that I'd fall asleep and drop her and she told me to just lay her down and let her cry because she's too tired and the baby eats too much anyway. Last Thursday I had taken the baby with me and my youngest daughter to a school summer function so that my daughter could get a nap. When I was on my way home my daughter was leaving with friends and she told me that the directions for the baby were on the fridge. Then later that night she called to tell me that she was going to her boyfriend's house (I had told her that I'd baby sit for her on Friday and Saturday while she helped his family move). I didn't realize that I was going to have the baby from Thursday until Monday.

    The following is what she left me on the fridge (I still have the papers she wrote it on).

    Feeding Times
    12pm
    4pm
    8pm
    12am (cereal bottle)
    8am
    *Do not feed her any other times No matter wat. If she does not finish the bottle either force her or she will NOT get it until next feeding time.
    Directions
    bed time at midnigh
    sleep in bassnent or playpen...NOTHING ELSE
    If she crys...Let her
    Do not pick her up after you have fed her and laid her down.
    Don't hold her alot
    *If you do not go by this, I can tell by the way she will act when I come back
    Do not put her in the swing or rock her to get her to stop crying. She can cry herself to sleep.

    I have raised 3 children and helped raise a 4th. I know how to raise children and this is just crazy. The cereal has caused her to be gassy and to get constipated so I had to water down some apple juice so that she could have a bowel movement twice in 4 days. I know from experience that you shouldn't let an infant cry too long (my oldest ended up with a hernia when she had colic from crying too long). I don't claim to know everything but a baby at a month old usually doesn't go for 8 hours without eating and that's what she's wanting her to do from 12am-8am. I also think that I've found out why she wants to move in with his mother. She told me that the mini barn is full of liquor for a party/parties that they're planning on having after they're all settled in the house. Technically, my daughter is moved out as of tonight. She informed me that she will return on Friday to pick up the rest of her things since she will be 18 on Friday and if I were to call the police and report her as a runaway since she's not 18 yet that I'll never get to see my grand daughter again after Friday. She said that the reason that she didn't take it out tonight is so that she can say that she's just spending the night with them and also because she's too sore right now. A truck/SUV side swiped her when it veered into the grass when they were walking home from Rally's last night (hit & run). Luckily the baby was with me. They rushed her to the hospital but the x-rays came back clear so she was released a few hours later and her left side, arm, and back are red, black, and blue. My husband and I are fine with her moving out but we're worried about the baby because if she's doing this stuff at our house...telling me that the baby eats too much and let's her cry for 1/2 an hour to an hour until she falls asleep...what will she do at their house? I'm worried for the baby and if I call child services what says that they won't just stick the baby into a foster home instead of with family. I don't trust child services but I'm worried for the baby. Btw, I typed what she left on the fridge word for word...misspellings and all.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Can I Enforce Visitation with My Grandchild

    What you're describing is parenting differences. Some parents are not the attachment-parenting types. They believe in the "let them cry" method. That's fine if that's what she wants to do - it's certainly not an indicator of being unfit.

    If you're genuinely concerned, call child services. I don't think this actually meets the definition of neglect, just crappy parenting. And she's allowed to be a crappy parent to quite an extensive degree.

    That's really all you can do. You can, if the baby is removed, offer yourselves as a suitable placement.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Given her age and inexperience, I can see her being told to take parenting classes. And the child going back to her at some point (if the child is removed at all).
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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