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Eowyn324

Grandparent Visitation

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My child's father was arrested for indecent behavior with juveniles and a sexual assault his ex-girlfriend with accessory to indecent behavior and obstruction of justice. I went to the clerk of court the day after I found out and got a restraining order for my daughter. Since then his parents have been trying to see my child and I just cannot trust them. They bonded him out of jail and are calling the victims liars. I have also had two health care professional and the Chief of D’s tell me not to let the grandparents be with her unsupervised.

The grandparents have called twice in the last 3 days and the grandmother showed up at my house today without permission, she has never been to my home before this. She had brought gifts for my daughter’s birthday. The visit did not upset my daughter at first but later she became upset when it hit her that her grandfather didn’t come and her father didn’t send her a gift. She also told my daughter about the ex-girlfriends children being in a bad car accident and told her the injuries the children had. This is something she should have told me privately and let me decide the best way to tell her, if at all. The accident happened the day of her birthday party and she feels responsible for it since the children were not at our house. Before the grandmother left she told me she wants to see my child at her house.

I found out recently that my child's grandparents plan to sue for visitation of her, her half-sister, and the children of their son's ex-girlfriend.  I have temporary full custody of my daughter through a restraining order; her half-sister's mother has full custody with supervised visitation for the father, and the children of the ex-girlfriend now live with their father who now has full custody.

Should I get an attorney now, which I cannot afford, or wait until their son is convicted? 

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You should get an attorney when you feel you need one.  I'm not sure from the facts in your message whether you need one at this time.  There's no indication that your child's grandparents have standing to sue for visitation, or that they could prevail in such a suit even if they did.  Laws vary from one state to another and you don't mention your state, but in no state do grandparents have an intrinsic right of visitation with their grandchildren.  Except in highly unusual circumstances, that is a matter left up to the child's parent -- that is, you.  When and if the father's visitation rights are reinstated, the law provides for them to visit the kids on his time.

 

I suggest you wait until you are actually served with a complaint, then consult a local family law attorney to find out how best to deal with it.  Good luck!

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Louisiana Civil Code provides, "A grandparent may be granted reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. Before making this determination, the court shall hold a contradictory hearing as provided for in R.S. 9:345 in order to determine whether the court should appoint an attorney to represent the child." La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 136.

 

As for hiring an attorney, not sure whether it is in your best interest at this time to do so.  Certainly, you would want to consult with an attorney if you are served with a complaint, unless you have an erudite background in responding to and handling such matters.

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the Chief of D’s 

 

Huh?

 

 

 

I found out recently that my child's grandparents plan to sue for visitation of her. . . .

Should I get an attorney now, which I cannot afford, or wait until their son is convicted? 

 

I would think that you'd wait until the grandparents actually do sue you -- especially if $$ is an issue for you -- and am not sure why the date of conviction (if he actually is convicted) would be at all relevant.

 

 

 

Louisiana Civil Code provides, "A grandparent may be granted reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. Before making this determination, the court shall hold a contradictory hearing as provided for in R.S. 9:345 in order to determine whether the court should appoint an attorney to represent the child." La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 136.

 

I would take a look at post-2000 case law interpreting this statute since, as phrased, it is almost certainly unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Troxel v. Granville.

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pg1067 said: "I would take a look at post-2000 case law interpreting this statute since, as phrased, it is almost certainly unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Troxel v. Granville."

 

In Troxel, the Court determined that a portion of the Washington statute was unconstitutional. Specifically, section, 26.10.160(3) which provides that “Any person may petition the court for visitation rights at any time including, but not limited to, custody proceedings. The court may order visitation rights for any person when visitation may serve the best interest of the child whether or not there has been any change of circumstances”.

 

Accordingly, another Louisiana law, should be taken into consideration, .i.e., La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:344(A) which provides “If one of the parties to a marriage dies, is interdicted, or incarcerated, and there is a minor child or children of such marriage, the parents of the deceased, interdicted, or incarcerated party without custody of such minor child or children may have reasonable visitation rights to the child or children of the marriage during their minority, if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child or children”.

 

Unlike the Washington statute determined to have been unconstitutional in Troxel, La. R.S. 9:344 is more narrowly drawn. The Louisiana legislature has determined that in specified, limited situations, i.e., where one parent dies, is interdicted, or incarcerated, the parents of the deceased, interdicted, or incarcerated party may have reasonable visitation rights with the children provided the court finds said visitation to be in the best interest of the child.

 

Also, unlike the Washington statute, the Louisiana legislature expressly limited the scope of La. R.S. 9:344 to the parents of the deceased or absent parent. Additionally, the statute's grant of visitation does not contemplate a significant intrusion upon the child's relationship with the other parent or interference with said parent's fundamental right to make childrearing decisions. Galjour v. Harris, 2000-2696 (La. App. 1 Cir. 3/28/01), 795 So. 2d 350, 358 writ denied, 2001-1238 (La. 6/1/01), 793 So. 2d 1229 and writ denied, 2001-1273 (La. 6/1/01), 793 So. 2d 1230.

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Huh?

 

The Chief of Detectives. I hadn't planned on speaking to him but he invited me to his office to talk to me when he saw how upset I was about this situation. I ended up filing an informal complaint about the lead detectiive on the case. The detective said she didn't want to go on a witch hunt and had refused to speak to the other children who lived in the house on the weekends and who the defendant had joint custody of.  I had found a connection to the lead detective and the defendent on a social media site.

 

 

I would think that you'd wait until the grandparents actually do sue you -- especially if $$ is an issue for you -- and am not sure why the date of conviction (if he actually is convicted) would be at all relevant.

 

The ADA would really have to mess up to not get a convected. The story almost all of the local medai and in the articles it has him admitting to most of what he did.

 

 

I would take a look at post-2000 case law interpreting this statute since, as phrased, it is almost certainly unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Troxel v. Granville.

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Eowyn, it's best not to put your responses into a quote where someone has to discern/differentiate between what's the quote and what's your response.  Either quote and comment outside it, or put stuff in quotation marks and then your remarks. 

Someone can admit to something and still be found not guilty on a technicality and, at any rate, won't opine about what mandatory sentence there might be associated with X crime.

At any rate, going too far down the rabbit hole.  I'd worry only when it happens, and meanwhile you're free to compile list of witnesses and other info to counter a "best interest" argument if these people haven't been a fixture in the kid's life so far, or have been an unwelcome influence but not one you could do anything about because they saw the kid during the father's time.

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