How can we get custody of our ten year old granddaughter? 16 Answers as of August 30, 2011

Her father is receiving survivor benefits from our daughter for the support of our granddaughter but is not using the funds for her. She lives with us most of the time and as soon her check goes into the bank, he spends it. The account was set up for payments for her school and dentist bills but he withdraws the money as soon as the check is deposited. What would be a typical legal cost for pursuing custody through the courts?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Custody is not a cheap endeavor and there is no way any lawyer can assess a case and give an estimate on cost with no details. I offer a free consultation if you are in Dallas or Collin County. This consult is your opportunity to ask questions, and give em details so that I can try to assess the case and give you an estimate on cost, strategy, etc. That said, if Dad just rolls over, the cost for filing fees alone are about $375 with service, then a few hours of attorney time. If Dad fights, then the limit is how hard does he want to fight.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/30/2011
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
It sounds as though you would be ordered to have "Legal standing" to pursue custody. Depending upon the father's (lack of) cooperation, it could cost anywhere from $800 if he consents to $10,000 if the court were to require Psychological evaluations, trial, etc.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/26/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
You could file a petition in Probate Court to be guardians and conservators of the minor but you would need to establish that the father is unfit or incapable of taking care of the child. What do you mean the child lives with you most of the time? I can't give you a total cost because I don't know how much work would be involved, but I would need a retainer of$3,500.00 and I charge $275 per hour. Any initial work and costs would be deducted from the retainer and any time charged over and above the retainer would be charged to you on a monthly basis.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/26/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
The cost will depend on how much time the attorney has to spend on this. He is stealing her check? Please, go to court, put a stop to this, and fight for custody of your granddaughter. She needs you. I can help you with this. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/26/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
You would pursue guardianship of her person and finances, so that you have orders for her living with you and controlling the funds.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/26/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You need to go to the Juvenle Court in your county and file a Petition for Custody.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    You may be able to file a Petition for Temporary Custody by Extended Family on the basis of abandonment or neglect. If it is granted, you can have the benefits re-directed. These can be complicated from a legal standpoint and certainly can get expensive. This is not a case where you want to select the least expensive attorney. Costs will vary based on your location and the skill of the attorney. I suggest you consult an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You can petition the court for guardianship or grandparents rights. There is no way to tell you the typical cost as you don't indicate the dads likely reaction or the county.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Varies. Typical retainers run from $2,500-$5,000.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If your granddaughter has been in your primary care and custody for at least the last six months, in Colorado you are permitted to file a petition in the District Court seeking the allocation of parental responsibilities (APR) (this is what formerly considered custody in Colo). The father could object and it will up to a judge to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Generally, if the survivor benefits you mention are social security survivor benefits, the state court really has no authority to oversee what the father does with the money. You can report the situation to the SS office and ask to be appointed as the Representative Payee instead of the father. It will be up to the SS office to decide, but if you succeed in getting primary responsibility for the child SS will almost certainly make you the Rep Payee. The cost of pursuing an APR case will vary depending on how much conflict is involved. Without knowing a lot more, a reasonable estimate would be somewhere between $2,500 and $8,000.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Grandparents do have the right to seek custody. You need to consult with an experienced family lawyer regarding the viability of your custody case given your particular circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    You can pursue a grandparent custody and visitation action through the District Court. An attorney can assist you in determining the merits of your case. Most family law attorneys charge an hourly rate, which can vary widely depending on where you are in the state and the seniority and/or status of your selected attorney. A contested custody action can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, so be prepared to spend a substantial sum if this matter has to go to trial.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You will need to file a third party custody action and prove both parents are unfit and it's in the child's best interest to live with you.The typical legal costs are from zero to $150,000.00. It depends how much of a fight there is.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Custody cases can be expensive. You may wish to apply as a co-guardian in Probate Court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You can petition for guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
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