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  1. #1
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Child

    My question involves grandparents rights in the State of: California


    I am expecting a child in March. My boyfriend of two years (father of baby) was in an accident in August and is undergoing intensive rehabilitation for a brain injury. He currently cannot care for himself, and will not be self reliant for months, if at all. His mother and stepfather have POA.

    His mother and stepfather plan to care for him in their home once he is released (I would like to care for him--with outside help--but they have said it's not an option), and his mother has now threatened to sue for visitation and possibly joint custody of our child, "on behalf of her son". My boyfriend does not have a positive relationship with his mother and stepfather (they are very manipulative), and he wouldn't want to be in their home let alone allow them to have access to his child, but right now he is unable to communicate that. I do not have a good relationship with them either.

    I haven't spoken to her since she brought this up, and want to make sure I'm armed with as much information as possible when I do. She is also threatening to stop me from visiting my boyfriend. Everything is already uncertain enough, and I feel like I need to take her threat seriously.

    Is there a chance she could get visitation (or joint custody if she pursues it)? And if she does get either, does that mean a judge would order me to send my newborn for overnight visits?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2007
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    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
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    Default Re: Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Ch

    The grandparents have no standing to sue for joint custody of your child. In fact, until paternity is established, their son doesn't even HAVE a child. You will be the child's only legal parent.

    There is nothing stopping the (potential) grandparents from hiring an attorney for their son and having the son sue to establish paternity, but if he's in such a bad physical condition, whether an attorney will do it is anyone's guess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    23

    Default Re: Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Ch

    I am sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you care for your boyfriend. However, you need to information to protect you and your child from a viscious lawsuit from these mean-spirited people. The following suggestions have nothing to do with how you feel about your boyfriend. It is about how to position yourself to shield you from these ugly, selfish lawsuits. I am not a lawyer, but was sued by ex-in-laws.

    I would suggest that you do not put the father's name on the birth certificate as long as you are single when the baby is born. You can amend it later when circumstances change. Having the baby out of wedlock puts these stupid rules into effect if paternity is established, i.e. on birth certificate.

    Just because they are your boyfriend's parents, doesn't mean they have a "right" to take your child away from you. As long as you are a fit parent (no drugs, no alcoholism, no criminal record), there is not much the GPs can do about getting custody of your child. Stay squeaky clean.

    If you are young, you need to show you are 100% responsible for your child. DO NOT ask them for financial help. Figure out a Plan B, how to manage on your own. Make a will. Protect your child if something should happen to you. Appoint someone to care for your child/be legal guardians in the event you cannot.

    Otherwise, if it is possible, I would also suggest getting married ASAP and check CA's rules on GP visitation. If you marry before the baby is born, then they might not be able to sue for visitation at all. However, a word of caution, if you marry and he passes, they will be able to sue and most likely win visits.

    You need to ask a lawyer if your boyfriend can have his DNA removed without his consent, given his condition. Check to see if they need to have specific medical authorization signed by their son, usually called "Health Care Power of Attorney". It usually is different from POA.

    Do you have anything in writing concerning his feelings towards his mother & step-father?

    Does he have a will?

    Yes, take their threats seriously. What you are experiencing is the typical reason GPs sue for custody or visitation - they hate the custodial parent and their only goal is to take the child away from the custodial parent. They never act in the best interest of the child.

    Document all threats they have made and continue to make. If they continue to make threats, bring your documentation and get a protection order against them. If they call, let it go to voice mail and save all messages. So get all communication in writing. Write down day, time, witnesses to their threats. Encourage email, if possible and then save, but don't tell them why you want them to email.

    I would say don't communicate with them about your pregnancy, don't allow them in the room when you give birth. AS far as you now know, their son is not the father.

    I hope this helps. Keep us posted. Wishing you all the best!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    23

    Default Re: Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Ch

    I'd like to add that if they do not allow you to visit your boyfriend, document that as well, obtain any documentation about this from the hospital as well. This will support your claim of their animosity toward you, something your boyfriend may be very upset about when he recovers. It certainly won't help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Ch

    Quote Quoting FitParent
    View Post
    Having the baby out of wedlock puts these stupid rules into effect if paternity is established, i.e. on birth certificate.
    I would hardly call making someone sign a declaration of paternity before a man is named on a birth certificate all while protecting the rights of both parents and attempting to cut down on paternity fraud "stupid rules."

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Paternal Grandmother Threatening to Sue for Visitation/Joint Custody of Unborn Ch

    They are under no legal obligation to allow her to visit her boyfriend. She is not his spouse and has no rights. They can simply say that they decided that only family would visit their boyfriend. As his parents and next of kin, they can make that decision. Documenting that they won't allow a non family member to visit is wasting time to prove absolutely nothing.

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