Can I get custody of my son if my mother has been raising him? 25 Answers as of August 05, 2011

My situation is kind of complicated. I had my child when I was 16 and my mother had refused to let me raise him she said she was going to raise him. I am 22 I still want my child she has no legal guardianship or custody for him. My question is do I have to take her to court or do I have the right to just go get him?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You are the father. It is your child from the facts presented.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
You do need to file a paternity action to establish legal rights for custody and placement of him.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 7/26/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
If there is no existing court order, then legally you have every right to take your son. Whether that is the right thing to do (assuming your Mom is strongly against the idea) depends on all the facts and circumstances and an understanding of what effect that will have on your son. After 6 years, he is far more important than simply what you and your mom "want" and you ought to consult a mental health professional for some advice and assistance in making decisions without a lot of fighting. If you and your Mom can't work out a viable plan to transition your son living with you, it may become necessary for a court to get involved and set out the ground rules for parenting thechild. You have a constitutional right to be involved, but your son has a right to not be placed into a totally new environment where you and your mother cannot get along.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/23/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
If you are the mother and there is no court order or papers giving her temporary custody, then you should be able to just go get him. She may then attempt to sue you for custody, but if you can provide a safe and stable life for the child, then she shouldn't prevail. I would strongly suggest hiring an attorney to assist you.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/22/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
My feeling is that the safest thing to do is to take the matter through the court system. In general, the rights of a biological parent are greater than those of a third party. However, like all cases involving children, the results are very dependent on the exact details of your case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/22/2011
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC | Tami Monek
    Unless a court order exists that establishes a right of custody or visitation in favor of your mother, you have the right to get your son.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    This all depends on the status of where things are right now. In Ohio you have to take steps to establish paternity if you are the father and not married at the time of your child's birth. I would assume that you were not married in your case. If you have taken steps to establish paternity you still will likely need to file for legal custody since you do not have it at present. It is probable that there was some court order that allowed your mother to have your child, or she would not be able to have your child treated by doctors, enrolled in school, or many other things. Depending on what that order states you will have certain rights without going to court. Ultimately, however, if you wish to obtain custody you will likely have to file in the Juvenile Court for the county in Ohio where you live. An experienced lawyer should be able to assist you in the process and help to give you the best chance of success if it is contested.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    If there is no court documents, your Mother has no "rights." However, would this be the best thing for your child? If you upset your Mother, shecanfile a third party custody actionbut she has to show you're unfit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    If there is no legal papers stating you cannot have custody of your son and that your mother does have custody of him, you may pick up your son, legally.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    > We are family law and child custody attorneys in Augusta and Evans, Georgia. We recommend that you first consult with and retain a family law lawyer in your area to discuss all your rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Technically yes you can but she probably will go get these orders if you do - I would suggest you try to work this out with her outside of court. If you cannot the court will look to the child's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    If there is no court order placing him in her care, you can just go get him but is that is what is best for your son if he has lived with her his entire life? Either way, she doesn't have the power to prevent you from being a part of his life or being the primary parent
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If there is not a Court Order granting custody to your mother then yes you can just go get him. If there is a Court Order granting your mother custody then you must petition the Court for his return.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    If there are no court orders, you can take your child from your mother's care. If she believes this is not in his best interests (e.g. if she believes you are unfit or that he would be traumatized by being removed from her care), then she might file an action to obtain custody. If she does this, a judge would have to make the final decision.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    If your mother has no legal custody or guardianship over your child, then she has no legal rights to the child. If you are residing with the child and your mother, you are free to move out with the child. If you are not residing with the child, you may still take your child, but your mother may seek an order stating that she has established what is known as "de facto" parent status. You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action so that you are informed of all possible results or consequences of your actions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Since your situation is complicated, I would strongly suggest consulting with an attorney in your area before taking any action. While you may be able to pick up your son since your mother has not established any legal rights to him, if she went into court to get some orders after you had taken him, the fact that you did this could make it more difficult for you to retain custody. Courts like to preserve stability for children when possible, and taking the child out of the home he is used to may be viewed as bad for him.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    If your mom never went to court to establish a legal guardianship then you can pick up your child as you are his mother. If when you do that she then tries to establish a legal guardianship you will need to retain a lawyer experienced in guardianship matters.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    I own a car. My son came by to borrow it. Now he refuses to give it back. What do I do? You have a birth certificate that says you are the parentthe ownerof a child. Take the child to your home. If mother comes by, ask her to leave. If she refuses, call the police and if it gets worse, get a restraining order. But you better be righteousyou better be ready to handle the crap that will rain and be ready to stand your ground. If you were my client I would tell you to go and without telling anyone, attend a parenting class. Then get everything ready to take your child backbut IFGrandma heads for the courthouse first, you are going to have an uphill battle. Do NOT tell anyone what you are doing and what you are planningand make no exceptions, or you will have a lifetime to regret it if they tell someone that knows your Mom. My kids mean more to me than all I own. If you do not feel the same way, leave your child with Grandma.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You need to file a paternity action with the court to establish that you are the biological father. At the same time, you should file a motion asking to establish custody and visitation with your son.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You probably could just go get the child, but given that a court battle would likely ensue, you need to see a lawyer before doing anything at all.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If your mother does not have a court order granting her custody of the child, you have the right to retrieve him. However, your mother may choose to then fight you in court for custody and you should be prepared for that.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    There is a thing called the "parental preference doctrine" but you leave out too much history to determine what rights and potential responsibilities anyone involved might have.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    First, hire a lawyer to verify that your mother does not have custody. Only when you are certain of that will you be able to legally remove the child. If your mother does not have custody, as the mother of the child with no custody order outstanding, you are the residential and custodial parent. Before you do anything, please consult with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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