Can my mother-in-law keep me from seeing my child? 3 Answers as of July 04, 2013

My Husband and I have been heroin users, No one knew about it and I have tried several times to stop on my own. I told all my family and have gone to treatment. I want to be and stay clean. My Mother in law has my daughter and will not let me have her back. I called the police and was told that they could not take my daughter from her; I would have to go to cps. My Mother, Sister and Mother in Law all agreed to take care of my daughter while I was in treatment. As soon as I went My Mother in Law would not let the rest of my family see her. And now she wont let me have her. Is this legal?

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Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
If your mother in law does not have any court orders granting her rights to the child, then she does not have a right to keep the child. You may need to go to court to get an order requiring her to return the child to you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/8/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
Does your mother in law or any other member of your family have any sort of order giving them custody of your child? If not, then, what they are doing is probably not strictly "legal." However, the problem is likely to be enforcement. For example, suppose you go to court seeking an order from the court ordering your mother in law to give your child back to you. I assume that your mother in law would then respond with a petition for third party custody, claiming that both you and your spouse are unfit parents. The outcome of that is likely to depend on where you are at in your treatment for and your recovery from your heroin usage. Particularly if you are still using, you may have a significant problem getting the court to order the child back to you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/7/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
You need to find out what CPS has done and fight to change it.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/4/2013
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