Can I take my son from his paternal grandma if he has been with her 18 months and his father is not on the birth certificate? 8 Answers as of February 14, 2014

My 6 yr old has been living with his paternal grandmother out of state for 18 months. His father’s name is not on the birth record and has not established paternity. I am still my child's legal guardian. Can I go get him without having to go to court?

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The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C. | Jessica M. Cotter
What you should do is consult with an experienced Arizona family law attorney in your area to discuss your options. Be prepared to explain why your son has resided with her in another state for 18 months. Have with you any documents pertaining to your son, including his birth certificate. How old is your son? Be prepared for the possibility that the paternal grandmother has obtained a court ordered guardianship of your son in her state court, because that is what I might have advised her to do had she consulted me.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/14/2014
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
If there is guardianship paperwork placing him with paternal grandmother, my suggestion would be to go to that court and revoke it. Guardianship in these circumstances is usually based upon the consent of both parents. It is possible that other court actions could be initiated especially if you have been absent from the child's life for a significant period of time, however you should obtain court orders permitting you to take your son - and that could mean establishing custody or revoking guardianship.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/13/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Yes, unless she has gone to court and was named guardian.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/13/2014
Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
Unless there is a court order that says otherwise, you can go and get your child.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 2/13/2014
LEWIS & KAPPES, P.C. | Dallin David Lykins
Part of the answer depends on why the child was living with his grandmother to begin with. If there was a court order, then you would most likely have to request the order of custody to be modified by the court. If there was no order, and she volunteered to let him live with her, you may be able to talk with her and work out an arrangement. You should always keep your son's best interests in mind.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 2/13/2014
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro | Gerard A Fierro
    So long as your parental rights can be proven and the grandmother has not established a legal guardianship then you have a right to obtain custody of your son. My answer presumes that the father has no legal paternity as you have stated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2014
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    If you have legal custody you can go get him.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2014
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    How did your child end up with the paternal grandmother. The issue is not the father, but why you gave the child to his mother. Does she have some kind of court order. If so, you need to go back to court and ask the court to return the child to you. If not, you can get the child. The grandmother may be able to go to court to say the child has been abandoned by you or you are not fit as the child has been living with her all this time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/13/2014
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