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Nan1

Non-custodial grandparents rights to permanent custody

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My son's 2 children, age 5 and 8, were placed in the temporary custody of the maternal grandparents following the death of their mother and the inability of their father to provide a safe home. My son was asked during a family meeting held by CPS who he wanted to take care of the children and he chose the maternal grandparents. I was present at the meeting and expressed desire for my husband and me to have custody. Now, 10 months later, the custodial grandparents are filing for permanent custody. Do I have any chance of getting permanent custody or will the custodial grandparents take precedence? They are providing a good home, and we are able to provide a good home, as well. Why was my son able to make the decision of who to give custody to when he wasn't deemed fit to care for them? He chose them because they told him that they would help him financially and help him keep his kids. They told him what he wanted to hear, he was allowed to make the call, and now we (paternal grandparents and aunt) are left out. Advice please!

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You are free to retain counsel and contest the other grandparents' bid for permanent custody.  Of course the burden will be on you to convince the court that a transfer of custody from them (who by your own admission are providing the kids with a good home) to you will be in their best interest -- a goal that will be difficult if not impossible to achieve.

 

My advice (which is free and worth every penny) is to stop thinking of yourselves as being "left out" and work with your son and the other grandparents out of court to obtain liberal visitation, then use whatever visits you have to foster a positive, nurturing relationship with the kids that they'll want to continue into adulthood.

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Do I have any chance of getting permanent custody or will the custodial grandparents take precedence?

 

Any chance?  No one here will be able to say (intelligently) that you have absolutely no chance.  However, the court is not going to be inclined to bounce the children from one home to another without a good reason for doing so.

 

 

 

Why was my son able to make the decision of who to give custody to when he wasn't deemed fit to care for them?

 

This is a good question for the person(s) who made the placement decision based on his recommendation, but not a very good question for anonymous strangers on a message board.

 

 

 

. . . and now we (paternal grandparents and aunt) are left out. Advice please!

 

What does "left out" mean?  Are the maternal grandparents refusing to allow you to spend time with the children?  If so, you ought to consult with an attorney about seeking an order for visitation.

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If your son was the legal parent, that gives him the right to decide where and by whom the children were raised. The court is not going to ignore the desire of the legal parent and remove the kids from a loving and stable home because you don't want to feel left out. If you wanted custody initially, that should have been a conversation you had with your son. It was his right to decide what was in the best interests of all involved. If his in-laws were offering something which made them the best choice, that is the way it is. Nothing prevented you from doing the same.

 

Think of these poor children who have lost their mother and can't live with their father. Do you really want to uproot them again? Your better bet is to develop a relationship with the custodial grandparents and your son so they will let you be part of the children's lives.

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