Can my child be left in the child custody of an unfit grandmother? 10 Answers as of January 12, 2011

My son was in his grandmothers custody when he was about a year old. His mother had left town for 9 months and I had him every weekend for visitation. The Grandmother had to go into a mental institution at one point and my son was taken form her and almost put into foster care because she lied and said that me, the father was in Arizona. Does my sons mother have the right to leave my son with that same grandparent now?

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Law Office of Tim W. Avery
Law Office of Tim W. Avery | Tim W. Avery
You need to file a suit for custody of your son. The question that should be answered and will need to be answered to the court is where were you during the time period that the mother was gone for nine months and why didn't you seek custody at that time. Not trying to be harsh but that issue will come up during the custody suit.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/12/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Unless there is an existing court order prohibiting the grandmother from having contact with the child, the child's parent is legally free to entrust the care of the child with her, or anyone else. Whether the child's mother has the "right" to do anything depends on whether or not there is any court order limiting or specifically describing her rights. Your question suggests that you and the son's mother were never married and, therefore, that you have never been given any
parental rights. If that is incorrect, then perhaps you have the right to object to what the mother does. In any event, if you believe that the mother's decision to entrust care to the grandmother is
harmful to the child (you don't indicate whether this is happening or occasionally or if mother has permanently left the child with the grandmother) you should contact the child protection division of the Human Services Department where the child is living or retain an attorney to seek some specific parental authority of your own.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/27/2010
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
No she does not. You should be able to challenge that.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/19/2010
The Connelly Firm P.C.
The Connelly Firm P.C. | Thomas Connelly
You should file a motion requesting full custody. Please contact me if you need help. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 12/18/2010
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
I would need to know what the current orders in the case are. Normally a parent would have superior right to custody over any other person; however if there are court orders those would prevail. If you wish to provide more information please contact me.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 12/17/2010
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You can change that arrangement by going back to court and seeking an order to prevent Grandmother from having custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/17/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert B. Pollack, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Robert B. Pollack, P.C. | Robert Pollack
    As the father, if you have an honest belief that the grandparent / custodian is unfit, then you should make the proper application to a court of appropriate jurisdiction in your area. I do not understand why you do not have custody if the mother apparently does not want it. You are the father and have superior parental rights to any grandparent. Contact an attorney. You should never leave a child in the care of any unfit custodian.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/17/2010
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Custody can only be awarded to a parent. If Grandma is trying to have the child in her care, she would have to get guardianship, which you can contest. In the absence of a showing that you are not a proper parent to care for the child, you get first crack ahead of grandma.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/16/2010
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    I would suggest that you schedule a consultation with a Virginia attorney who handles domestic relations cases and who should be able to further advise you once he or she has more detailed information regarding your case and claims.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/16/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Go to court and get custody orders. This might be the only way to protect the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/16/2010
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