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grandpa_paul

grandparents custody

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My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Wyatt on the 3rd of march 2012. I have been watching this young man since then. My daughter has a drug problem and is now in detox and then is going to rehab. The father who has not been there for him his whole life now wants to take custody of him. He is the father of Wyatt but has not signed the birth certificate and has no information on him. What rights do I have since I've been there for Wyatt his whole life?

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That will depend on the law of the state where the child resides and the details of the situation. Note however that if the father is fit to care for the child and wants custody, he'd very likely get priority over others. The law strongly favors keeping parents and children together whenever possible.

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Georgia is where Wyatt has been now hes in Alabama with his father. The father works 60 plus hours a week and never will spend time with Wyatt the fathers mother or sister works also so Wyatt will be at the fathers grandparents home. There is someone here all the time in georgia.

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In the absence of a court order saying otherwise, grandparents have no legal rights regarding their grandchildren.

One issue that exists here is that it does not appear that the father's paternity was ever established. I suggest you consult with an attorney in Alabama where the child lives about possibly seeking a guardianship.

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the father has had a dna test and Wyatt is his. I'm unemployed an have no assets whatsoever. The facts are that I've been there and his father has not. I'm lost without him and know that Wyatt is not in an evironment that he is used to and is being shuffled around just to stop him from having to pay any child support. I understand about the law and my rights it seams just so unfair for the child to have to go through this. I'm looking for a way to get temp custody or something that will unable him to have at least a stable life amoung all these mixed up problems. Here he would have it there not so much.

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the father has had a dna test and Wyatt is his.

By itself, that DNA test is legally meaningless. It appears obvious that the child was born out of wedlock. When that is the case, no man has any enforceable parental rights until such time as paternity is established and a court enters an order allocation custody and visitation between the parents. It may be that paternity was established in some way that is legally binding under Georgia or Alabama law. However, if that happened, it is not apparent from any of your posts.

Also, in your original post, you said that the father "now wants to take custody of" the child. However, in your first follow up post, you said that the child is living with his father in Alabama. If, in fact, he is living in Alabama with his father, then it appears the father already has taken custody (although the circumstances regarding how that happened aren't clear).

Query how you, an unemployed person who claims to have "no assets whatsoever," believe you can provide any sort of suitable living environment for the child. While the father may work 60 hours per week, that still leaves about 3.5 waking hours per day for the father and child to establish a bond, which isn't much less than a lot of parents. Given how very young the child is, I don't see much of an issue. As the first response noted, courts are almost always going to favor a parent over a non-parent in the absence of parental unfitness. If the worst thing about the father is that he works hard and has to have his mother and sister take care of the child while he's working, you don't have any sort of valid claim to prevent him from having custody. That said, the circumstances described are such that obtainining an order for visitation shouldn't be terribly difficult.

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thank you all for your comments and advice. Your response was great and i greatly appreciate it. I have loved and cared for this beautiful baby and will miss many important things in his life. I guess I'm just being selfish and a litle bit jealous. I again thank you and ask a blessing on you and yours.

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My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Wyatt on the 3rd of march 2012. I have been watching this young man since then. My daughter has a drug problem and is now in detox and then is going to rehab. The father who has not been there for him his whole life now wants to take custody of him. He is the father of Wyatt but has not signed the birth certificate and has no information on him. What rights do I have since I've been there for Wyatt his whole life?

none. youre not his mother.once dad establishes paternity he will be first in line for custody, his rights trump everyone else's

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I'd probably focus attention on daughter and her ultimately getting visitation rights (and your involvement would flow through her). Otherwise, it's a tough road to hoe for grandparents as to visitation except if your daughter is stripped of parental rights or visitation (or dies).

If you handed over the kid without complaint (at direction of mother, I presume?) and have expressed (polite) wishes to have visitation with the kid that are rebuffed (a topic you may revisit from time to time, but don't pester), there's always a chance down the road that the father will be amenable to you being around.

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