Grandparents Getting CustodyWhat happens when a grandparent realizes his or her son or daughter is not a good parent? What happens when young parents die tragically and leave children behind? What if the couple is divorced with young children and the custodial parent passes away and the non-custodial parent wants to fight for custody? These are all situations where grandparents may want to fight for custody of their grandchildren.

Even in the worst of situations, this may seem like a good move, but unless there is a legitimate reason why the grandparents should be granted custody, the court does not give grandparents any special consideration, even though they are actual family members. Parents rights come first, unless, as we said previously, there is a legitimate danger or concern in the way the child is being raised.

Concerns Do Not Always Warrant Custody

Parenting styles have changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. What was once considered “normal” discipline is now grounds for child abuse. Famous athletes and stars, such as Adrian Peterson, have been brought before the courts and charged with child abuse for disciplining their children in the same manner in which they were disciplined.

With such a dramatic change in the perception of what is and what is not acceptable in terms of parenting technique, it is very understandable why some grandparents may not simply approve of the way their grandchildren are being raised. However, not agreeing with a parenting style and the children actually being at risk or in danger are entirely different situations.

There are, however, certain conditions that may warrant an actual change in custody, though. Some of these are:

  • Abandonment – is the child being left alone for unreasonable amounts of time or has the parent altogether abandoned taking care of the child?
  • Emotional Abuse – at times, this can be more damaging to a child than physical abuse simply because it may take much longer to realize it is happening. This may also be something that is very tough to prove; it may take some type of therapy or counseling to reveal the level of abuse the child is being subject to.
  • Neglect – just because the parents are there does not mean they are taking care of the child. Are the parents taking an active role in the child’s schooling? Are they “there” emotionally for the child? Again, this may not be very easy to prove and may require further investigation before it can be brought before the court.
  • Physical Abuse – the case of Adrian Peterson is a perfect example of physical abuse. He did not think he was abusing his child but in the eyes of the court, he was. Physical abuse is not always obvious and it may not even be a malicious act by the parent; it is simply what they think is acceptable.
  • Sexual Abuse or Child Exploitation – this is just a horrific situation and one that is often difficult to uncover simply because the children are living in fear and/or embarrassment.
  • Substance Abuse – parents do not necessarily have to be subjecting their child to drug use for this to be the case. While substance abuse does not necessarily offer grounds to lose custody, how this problem affects the child will be taken into consideration. Something else to consider is a mother that is abusing drugs or alcohol while pregnant. Each state has its own laws about this specific topic, so consult with a family law attorney to see if your specific situation falls within the states guidelines for substance abuse.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, there are several other “settings” that may result in the grandparent having custody of the grandchildren. Some of these are voluntary, while other situations will involve the local authorities.

Parents Give Up Control of their Children

Some of you may read this and wonder how or why anyone would actually give up physical custody of their children to their own parents. Honestly, some people just realize they are not meant to raise children and give their own parents the option of doing it so the children remain in the family. This does not necessarily mean they are no longer active in their children’s lives; it is just that they cannot handle the everyday responsibility of being a parent.

An example of this would be an underage parent that may not be emotionally or financially able to care for the child. In some cases, this is meant to be a temporary cure to get the parent(s) through a rough patch and they fully expect to regain custody of the children when their situation improves. As the grandparent, though, you may need some type of legal agreement that allows you to properly “parent” the children involved.

Children are Taken Away from Parents

Some of the reasons this may happen were touched on above. In most cases, the actual removal will happen by local authorities, such as the police or social services. For example, there is a drug bust and children are found to live in the home of the individuals being arrested. These children would obviously be removed from this situation. Due to a law that was passed almost a decade ago in the United States, adult relatives would be contacted in an effort to have the children placed.

There are numerous other reasons the children may be removed from the home, some of which were mentioned in the bullet points at the top of this article. In these cases, the grandparents are often one of the first relatives contacted, as long as their information is available to the authorities. As a grandparent, if you suspect something such as this is the case, make sure you are known to the neighbors and they have your contact information just in case the authorities need it.

Initiating a Custody Suit for Your Grandchildren

What can you do when the authorities are unaware of a situation you deem to be dangerous to the children? What if social services has not responded and the children are still in danger, at least in your eyes? It would not be the first time grandparents sued for custody of their grandchildren, but it will not be easy to win the case, especially if local authorities have already investigated and found the situation did not warrant removal of the children from the current environment.

In addition, even if the grandparents are able to prove to the court the children should be removed from their current home, custody is not automatically granted to the grandparents. They would still need to prove to the court that the child being with them is in the best interests of the children. In situations such as this, hostilities may exist between the parents and grandparents, which can present problems for the children as they can get caught in the middle of the family problems.

Is Grandparent Custody Permanent?

In most cases, this answer is going to be no. In cases where the parents voluntarily give up custody, the parents fully expect to regain custody once they get through their hardship. In cases where the children are removed due to drug or alcohol problems, the parent may request to regain custody once he or she has gone through a program and can prove he or she is now living a “clean” life as well as being able to provide for the child.

As a grandparent it is extremely important that you have legal custody of the children, especially if you wish to keep them through adulthood. Without the proper documentation from the courts, your position becomes much weaker if the parents want to regain custody of their children.

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75 thoughts on “How Can I Get Custody of My Grandchildren?”

  1. I pray one day there be more grandparents rights specially if their adult kids are putting their grandkids in danger. This is the first weekend without my g
    randkids after years staying with me all weekend I miss giving them hugs and enjoying are times together. I pray my grandson who loves me so much not crying to see me I hope he safe where ever he is. My son and ex wife have been divorce for about a year now and separated longer things have been turned upside down and often the person they get enjoyment by bashing me when I say anything about my grandkids and how they are getting treated my ex daughter law let’s my grandkids live in Filth she always yelling at them most of the time. My granddaughter 3 years old has got into pills while under her mom’s care both my grandkids grandpa lives with them and their mom he been in out of prison since he was 21 for drugs he is now 50 it scares me for my grandkids be in same house with him. My grandkids is most of the sick with sinus infection and colds I guess probably the Filth they live in. My son he lives 300 miles away he has every other weekend with his kids me he and his girlfriend stays in my home with the kids during visits. They always high when they come over they so high they can’t they not able to spend time with the kids and I don’t trust them around my grandkids but if I dare to say anything to them they threatening they will not let me see my grandkids. Last weekend I lost all contact with my grandkids because I finally stood my ground and told both of my grandkids how I felt about them the way they was treating my grandkids. My granddaughter was suffering from a double ear infection her temperature was 103 I told my son we need get my granddaughter to the ER asp but instead they both determine to not take her until I told them I’m calling a ambulance. The doctor told us she had a virus and still ear infection she was sent home the next morning when I woke up both my son and girlfriend also the grandkids were gone. I was so afraid something was going happen to my granddaughter she was to sick to go anywhere about 12:00 pm I got a phone call my beautiful granddaughter daughter passed out on the ground at grocery store parking lot she was rushed to the hospital they keep her till 6 am found out she also had a severe UTI and she had have if for a while. When my granddaughter got home I rushed in the room my son and girlfriend was staying in smoking drugs in the same room my grandkids was in I blew my top I should not cuss them out in front of my grandkids but I just lost it on them and I have called the DHR on them and currently I’m waiting to see what happens next.

  2. My daughter has an arraignment coming up and there is a possiblity she is looking at 5 – 10 years in prison. She remarried two years ago to an individual who was incarcerated for 8 years for attempted murder, assault and drug charges. My grandchildren will be left in his care and in dangerous situations. Last time I saw my grandchildren they both were malnourished. Both of my grandkids have expressed to me that sometimes they do not have food or they eat very late (after 9PM). I have bought groceries numerous times so my grandkids can have food to eat. If she does get incarcerated and left under the care of this man I truly fear the worst for my grandkids. What I am asking is how can I get custody if she does go to jail? What rights as their biological grandmother do I have? On another note, my grandson’s biological father is in jail, serving 10 years, and my granddaughter’s father is deceased.

    1. You need to file depending on your state) a petition for custody, or a probate case for guardianship. This requires a lawyer, there is no option to do anything this complicated on your own – this is a situation that many experienced lawyers won’t touch – that’s how complex it is.
      Yes, you have rights, it just depends on the state you are in for what type of case you should file to bring the kids to your home. If the mother is on board with you having the kids and she has a sole custody order, maybe have her sign an affidavit and/or an agreed order as well to make sure these kids stay far away from this man.

  3. I have a daughter that has a 5 year old and she just informed me that they are living in her car, I can not take them in due to I have no space for them. Can I get guardianship of my granddaughter or custody of her and if I can how do I go about it?

    1. That is a terrible situation. You are able to file a petition for guardianship or a petition for temporary custody as the maternal grandparent. Keep in mind that this will likely be a contentious issue with your daughter and might fracture the relationship long-term. However, the health and well-being of this little girl is essential.
      Grandparents have been given very strong rights to file guardianship and/or temporary custody cases, but because these types of cases are filed significantly less than a normal custody case (between 2-parents), you need to make sure that the custody lawyer you work with is experienced in grandparents rights and knows how to navigate a case in both the family law courts as well as the probate/guardianship courts.
      The first step hat you will take with your lawyer is to file a petition for guardianship or a petition for temporary custody. Your daughter will need to be served with the petition for custody as well as a summons. You will need to show proof of the allegations you are making, so prepare that in advance – whether it is witness testimony or pictures or something else. Make sure your home is safe, clean, has lots of kid friendly food, and has no illicit substances or alcohol – because it is likely the judge will send an unannounced investigator (guardian ad litem or child representative) to your home.
      Tell your daughter that this isn’t permanent – but that you want to make sure her child is healthy and safe and to allow her to get back on her feet – this might soften the blow of a lawsuit and help to gain her trust. Above all else, remind your daughter that you are doing this out of love for her and your granddaughter. But make sure you have actual proof that can be shown to the judge.
      Get an experienced grandparents rights lawyer and help your family today.

  4. Hi my name is jerred and I live in Las Vegas. My girlfriend recently went into a 90 day drug program and is getting out soon. Well I asked my parents to please watch my daughter who is 7 months old until my girlfriend is out due to me working and have nobody in Vegas to watch her while I’m at work. We rent out a apartment that my dad owns here in Vegas and now that my girlfriend is almost out and we want to go pick up our daughter my parents are refusing to let me pick her up due to suspicious of both parents are drug users now. What they are trying to do now is kick us out the apartment so it looks like we have no place to live and take care of our child. I would never of thought my parents would do something like this in my entire life. My question is I’m leaving Las Vegas to California next week to pick her up what do I do if they refuse to release her. I would think to call the police right???? Thanks let me know legally the best situation to do thanks

  5. I am the grandmother of my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter who has been in my home since she was 2 months old. I am in a custody battle, and neither parent comes to visit the baby.

    1. My sister’s going through the same thing with her son she has both of his kids and now she wants to fight for custody Have you done any of that or do you know where I should start can you give me a little direction?

  6. Does anyone know if there’s a law where both parents are deceased but the grandmother for the father’s side is next of kin and her Rights was stolen from her by mother’s sister is there any legal action because she said she was adopted by aunt and uncle but still getting money from the SSI for this child where you find information to gain custody of this child in the state of Florida

    1. Report it to social security also their should be court documents detailing such adoption. Go to to court house and check or website .

      The child should also have a case working children is also a great resource..
      I pray you get the assistance you need.

  7. Just trying to build a life

    My mother basicly pushed me out and for the best intrest in my daughter I’ve let her stay with my mother. I’m trying to make a life for myself in hopes of having a home and bringing my daughter into it. But in a few months my daughter will have lived with my parent’s for a year. I see her frequently. My question is, will my mother be able to take my daughter away now that it will have been over a year? Thank you

  8. My Daughter passed away January 17, 20201. and the dad to her two kids has the children now, he refuses to let me see them. I have my daughters diaries and she is very detailed in what happened day to day . In one entry she writes about her boyfriends wife peeing in a cup to take a pregnancy test, which was used on her daughter while taking baths. It goes on and on and these people are watching the kids now. What can i do it’s driving me crazy to think the kids are not being taking care of.

    1. I have the same problem my daughter passed away a month ago the boyfriend was abusive to her and we don’t know what happened to her to an investigation and he has a month granddaughter I want to know somehow I could buy custody of my eight month granddaughter thank you

  9. Two years ago my daughter was killed in a dui accident caused by her daughters father. He plead guilty for causing her death. I got my granddaughter. Now he just got out on parole and trying to terminate my guardianship. Does he have a chance of taking her.

  10. What if your daughter lives with you and the grandchild? I am looking to get guardianship of my grandchild and kick her mother (my daughter) out. This last weekend her mother stayed gone all weekend leaving my grandchild with me. However, she didn’t tell me she wasn’t going to be there. She is taking prescription pills and has blown through 10s of thousands of dollars in the 2-year period she has lived with me. There are times she takes my granddaughter with her to the pill persons house(s) as well. What’s the best way to go about looking into this. I’m at my wit’s end. And my daughter won’t just give up rights – I will have to fight.

    1. Pissed Off Mom...

      I am in a similar situation- I have accepted that my daughter has made her choice to be with a bumb meaning he has no car, lives with grandparents and no job but smoked weed and keeps failing drug test.
      One time, my grandbaby came home with her clothes smelling like weed. That was the final straw.

      I have come to the point of “if you can’t beat, join em”. So…..
      Basically, I started keeping my grand baby as much as I can. I ask questions related to her safety (physical and emotional by listening to her responses and help her by giving her all the love in my heart.

      I can’t tell my 22 daughter anything so it has been best for me to leave her be and keep my grand baby so my daughter can “wild out” by herself. I just want my daughter to come to her senses I still love her but she is just gone with the wind so I let the little bird fly away and I keep my grand baby.

      1. I think that the way you are approaching this is sometimes the best way possible. This way there is less arguing and your daughter will feel like she is calling the shots. When in reality you and your grandbaby are getting the best results for the both of you. You can feel that your grandchild is safe and happy, and your daughter can live her life the way she wants. It will probably remain this way until she realizes that she has some serious growing up to do.

    2. Following. What do you do when the father won’t let mom take the baby to get medical care? They live with me.

      1. If the kids live with you, why do you need dad to take the baby to the doctor? If there is a medical purpose (legitimate of course), take the baby in and let the dad file a motion claiming it shouldn’t have been done. It might not end well for him if he is seen as neglecting his child. Contact a family law attorney for additional help – but get that baby medical care no matter what!

  11. I have had my grandchildren for a year in September. I was granted power of attorney for medical and school but it expired the end of June. I received the kids through children services after my daughter gave birth to the youngest who was born with cocaine, methamphetamine, weed, and other substances found in his system. She has never had the bsby. The two older ones are 2 and 4. She has been in two rehabs since and has overdosed 2x on fetanyl during this time. She was just suspended from the last rehab on a behavioral suspension for dropping dirty and she would not cooperate with the terms to stay within the program and left. Its now time to Enroll the oldest in school and without her signing another power of attorney or giving me his birth certificate I can’t do it. She is refusing to cooperate. What can I do?

    1. I know u can get a form from the school that u fill out and have motorized that will allow u to put her in school and make medical decisions. This form is only useful if she leaves the child with u and stays gone for days or weeks.

    2. Cathlene D Jurado

      You can buy your grandchildren’s birth certificates. You don’t need your daughter to get one. you can also sign putting your grandchildren in school. I do it all the time. I just tell the school that the children live with me. I live in California. They never ask for legal papers. Or you can sign her name. No need to tell her. What is she going to do call CPS for her negligence?

      1. This is probably true. But, to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to get a court order (but you can get the birth certificates online from Vital Check). If guardianship is needed, you likely need a family law attorney that can file the petition and appear in court to get the order entered the right way.

  12. My grandson has been running for three years he’s been at his second home now but every time I go to court and try to get custody of my daughter feels the lie on me about something that’s not true they always say they have to investigate and then nothing comes up so I really need help in getting custody of my grandson I put in a case for custody but it’s like 241 kids took over because she just lost custody of him what

    1. I am going thru this now. My saughrer has told my grandkids that I am a bad person my grandchildren who are 6 and 3 and they love me dearly and because I would not give my daughter 3 quarters of a settlement I recieved now I can no longer see them due to this after all the years I put into my grandchildren life they were at the window crying for me begging me not to go and they wanted to come with me but my daughter slammed the door in there face and said you can’t talk to her I was very close to my grandkids and ita not fair to them or I that I cant see them.

  13. I have a daughter that had children young, she is 27 with an 8 yr old, a 4 yr old and a 1 year old. My 8 year old grandson has lived in at least 12 different homes (that i am aware of). My daughter has been in and out of my life and will cut the family off when we tell her our honest thoughts about how she is rasing her children, so then we have no contact at all with them. My daughter gravitates to men and is never in a relationship for longer than a few months so then she moves on to the next and the kida lives are uprooted again. Currently she is in another state with no home, and no job. She reached out to me to take the kids for a week; truth of the matter is, she found a new guy and they have no place to stay with the kids. My grandson has already expressed to me that he would like to be able to go to a school for an entire school year and he also said he would love for his mom to get a home for him and his sisters so they dont have to move anymore. This breaks my heart and im not sure what I can do at this point. I have the room for them, and we have the money to support them but we have raised our children and we expect more from my daughter! We expect her to step up and be the mother these children deserve. Can someone offer any advice?

    1. If you can’t stop her or beat her at this game, join her by just keeping track of your grand children, but if you keep fussing and trying to give advice which she has a deaf ear to right now… just be nice to her and tell her you are there for her (but no fussing nor advice). If you dont leave her be and keep expressing how disappointed you are, she will definitely cut you off, then you probably won’t be able to find them and she will keep them from you by telling them lies about you. Hang in there, you just turn your attention telling your daughter that you are here for her and you will help with the kids while she goes to relieve stress or something. Then you will have the kids most of time while she gets into whatever she wants. Good luck because it is hard as h….l to do this when all you want to do is wring their necks.

      1. This Grandma is Done Playin'!

        Being nice and acting like you are on your daughters side is exactly what I’m doing only in my case it is my deceased son’s ex girlfriend, mother of my grandson. She will drop him off to me for a couple of weeks at a time and when she finally had no one to hang with, runs out of money or is out of dope, suddenly she wants him. Everytime he has been with her some kind of drama unfolds at times she has called me and I have called police. Of course when the police arrive she lies to them and everything is fine. I don’t like this game. I don’t like knowing that when he is with her he is in potential danger! So playing her friend I don’t feel is the best advice. Take your diary of days your grandchildren are with you, any text messages you have from her incriminating herself where the drugs are concerned and file for full legal custody, full physical custody and also file for grandparents visitation at the same time in case the custody falls through. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m so done playin’!!!

  14. Okay here’s my situation my son had a baby by this lady girl or whatever she is she used to come to my house all the time never had any issues or problems with her then I ended up moving to another state because of my own personal life and she was pregnant she gave birth to the baby she kept avoiding me every time I will talk to my son on video chat and the baby and I didn’t understand what it was and I still don’t after being in the situation to where I needed to go to my son’s house which he lives with her and her his baby and her mom she was avoiding me wouldn’t let me talk to my grandson see him hold him anyting and now she refuses to let me see him and my son is celie going with her on this as far as with him saying oh you just got to give it time Mom but she’s super controlling over my sign she threatens to kill herself she called the police a few different times and I don’t know why I just want to know what can I do to be able to see my grandchild legally first off I would like to be able to know how I can get a blood test to even determine if that’s my grandchild or not my son says it is but I need to know for sure for my own reasons and then be able to proceed forward with being able to have regular visitations with him what do I do

  15. I have a problem as well: My daughter has been with this guy for the past 7 years and they recently got married last September. The man that she married and has been with is extremely controlling when it comes to my grandsons.
    This comment could go on forever if I get into every situation that I know of. So the most recent; My grandson Adian who is 11 came to me at his baseball game and told me to look at his leg. He pulled up his pant leg and on his shin was a large lump and all bruised up. I asked Adian what had happened and he said it was an accident that he got hit with the broom. I asked what kind of accident? He then told me that Dave did it (step dad), so I asked how and why. So he tells me that Dave (the step dad) was mad at his brother Noah for having wrappers under the couch or chair and because Adian was the one that taught Noah how to do this, so it was all his fault. I then asked what part of the broom did he use, he said the handle. Poor kid tells me don’t worry grandma, it didn’t hurt and I didn’t cry. I have a picture of his shin.
    On another occasion, Adian told me that he and his brother Noah got in trouble by mommy. He said that Noah ate most of the icecream and he only had one. This is what he told his mom. She said that he was a liaer and she didn’t believe him. So both him and Noah each got 10 hits with the belt!
    On another day, Noah tells me that he couldn’t find the garden hose that Dave (step dad) wanted, so Noah was just standing there holding his cat when Dave came up and kicked him really hard on his butt. Noah says, grandma I didn’t cry even though it hurt really bad.
    I have asked these boys if they told their mom. Both say no way because she won’t elieve them and says that they are lying.
    Enough was enough, seeing this is not the first time that Dave has been mean to these boys. And no one can talk to their mother. She gets loud and keeps my grandsons away from me.

  16. my daughter is on the streets prostituting and has not seen here kids in 3 week i have had them and i dont know where she is can i get custody of them they are 5 months and 1 year old she has been leaving these kids off and on since they where born i have picked the baby up from strangers on 2 ocassions i need help.

  17. Ok here is my situation my daughter just turned 20 and her son just turned 1 for the past 6 months I have had him my grandson 5 days during each week then his other grandma on his dads side takes him on the weekends , which before his biological dad was picked up by ICE he was taking him on the weekends . anyways when my daughter first had my grandson she was with the baby’s dad well after about 3 months one of her old boyfriends came back around which the reason he left her the first time was because I found out that he was 21 and she was only 16 I flipped out and told him that was unacceptable and he went away…. well once she turned 18 she got a 2 million dollar settlement and guess who resurfaced? yep that 21 yr old boyfriend whom now is 25 and she just turned 20 anyways here is my issue well she got back together with this guy and all her attention , money her all goes to him and not her son when i would need a few hours to take care of my things i would try and drop the baby off with her and my grandson would scream and cry and push away from her and it broke my heart cause i dont know why i dont know if hes being physically abused or if its because when im with him he has my 110% undivided attention and he does not get that from her or what but a week ago her and i got into it and now she wont let me see him and im physically sick over this cause I am so worried about him I live in arizona but I am afraid that if I try and take her to court now that she has all that money if she wanted to she can make sure that by law ill never be able to see him I am so torn right now I know he is probably feeling like I abandoned him it breaks my heart cause they say you cant love kids that are not your own which is absolutely true but the love a grandmother feels for her grandkids is a much deeper type of love I adore my grandson to the moon and back I cant eat or sleep some one help me please

    1. Hi there im a grandmother and I am going through close to the same situations I feel for you . I know there has to be some one who can help us when we know our grand babies are being abused and neglected. My. 18 month grandson clings on me for dear life not to go home . He has had abrasions and bruises loss of weight still DSS did nothing because they have food in the house and brand new furnature. The system makes me sick its backwards and the children have to pay for it ? Ps he doesn’t even have his crib up he falls off their bed DSS failed god bless you never give up im not we can’t we have to be their voice

      1. If DSS is the same as CPS, then all of our children are in terrible trouble. That system needs to be investigated and fast! All they are capable of is hurting the kids more and confusing them to no end. We have raised 2of our grandkids for years with no help or interference from that horrible institution. However as of late, they have become involved and my grandchildren are a big mess! Someone please investigate what is happening in the CHILD PROTECTION SERVICE SYSTEM AND DO IT QUICKLY BEFORE ALL OF OUR KIDS ARE HOPELESSLY LOST.

        1. Angela m McGowan

          This is very true tons of these caseworkers are children who are irresponsible themselves and alot are not trained enough one caseworker told me emotional abuse does not count as abuse

          1. I have a granddaughter who was mentally and physically abused by her mother‘s boyfriend at the time he spanked her with a curtain rod so we went to social services they said there was no marks on her so there was nothing they could do the system sucks and it’s bullshit! She is now 15 she’ll be 16 pretty soon her dad died last year the day after Thanksgiving her mother made her go with her she’s been living here for the last four years and staying with us for the past 15 years on and off when her dad had her. She was very depressed she wants to come home but her mother is very controlling and she was always threatening her dad and now she’s hurting us as grandparents she has no conscience I’m worried about my granddaughter and there’s nothing I can do. She is very depressed and stays in her room and calls me and says grandma please help me. Everybody I talk to says there’s nothing I can do I hate the situation I love her and want her to come home were she belongs. Colorado laws suck! Her mom is constantly making fun of her and so is her uncle it’s not a good situation.

        2. CPS can definitely do more harm than good! 4 years ago my daughter finally got away from her abusive controlling bf of 7 years. She has 3 sons 2 are his but the oldest is no relation to him at all. After 7 years of verbal, emotional, sexual and physical abuse she had no idea how to act without him telling her how to dress, when to speak etc and needed some time to get herself together. She asked me and the grandmother of the 2 youngest if we would take the boys temporarily until she could find a job and learn how to think for herself again. I work full time but the other grandma doesn’t so I took the 2 oldest boys whose school bus picked them up at my front door and dropped them off at my door in the afternoon right after I got home from work.
          The youngest boy has serious developmental delays, behavior issues and has been diagnosed with too many things to list so we both agreed he needed her undivided attention. The 2 older boys had been spending every weekend with me since they were born and the oldest had lived with me for almost 2 years after she got with her abuser.
          Things were going very well my grandsons were making progress, their grades had improved and they were almost completely settled in my home. They even had both received an award for student of the month.
          Then CPS decided to but in and long story short took both my grandsons (including the one not related to the other grandmother) and gave them to her. They never came to my home, spoke to the school or the boys and made these life changing decisions with very little thought or information. Now they live in a trailer with 30 inbred cats who continue breeding and because of the inbreeding they are so used to kittens dying it doesn’t phase them at all not to mention the smell of cat urine is so strong u can smell it from outside the home. My oldest grandson says they are infested with cockroaches and I can’t tell u how much time and money I’ve spent ridding them of lice over and over. All because Cps made a decision without reviewing any of the circumstances.

  18. Grandmother, I’ve raken care of grandson since he was 8 months old without help from his parents. I want to get custody but have no money. I am disabled and live on $1200/mo. Mother is on the lam and father is in jail. Neither parent has supported this child in any way. Everything I read says I must get attorney. Filed in health and family services got assistance and that has led to to court in a child support case. What do I need to go to get this custody handled so I can get my little Luca 5, ready for school and custody into my hands??

  19. Hi,

    I’m in Texas and in a tough situation where my daughter has been living with my dad and his wife for about 5 years because I went through a rough patch with drinking. I made a lot of mistakes in my past due to drugs and alcohol. I had previously gotten full custody of her from her mother years ago. I went to rehab and got much better and have been involved in my daughters life for 4 years, but she has been living with them this whole time. She’s 8. I got into an argument with my dad because he said they might be moving so I asked for custody and my dad said no. I pushed the issue and he said to stop coming over or he’ll call the cops, that he’s filing for full custody and child support against me.

    The past four years since I got better I have gotten my flight medical (required extra IOP and monitoring from FAA) and started working on my private pilots license and did my first solo, I’ve gotten halfway thru my associates degree in IT and got a salary job in the field with full benefits. I have my own apartment and car, and can handle everything for her. I did stay with him the first 2-3 years I moved to be with my daughter, but since I’ve been on my own and doing good I want her to stay with me now.

    Any advice would be great because I don’t know what to do. I even called the cops and their advice was to get a lawyer because they don’t handle civil stuff.

    1. Chances are u will win custody if u can pass a hair follicle drug test. Parents always have more rights than grandparents

  20. Hi. About a year ago my nephew accused his stepdad of abuse. He’d been with his biological dad since 6am that day, he plays rugby & football and around midnight cps & cops come to the door to take my little sister’s other 2 kids. They show up the next day ask questions and we comply with everything. We meet them to get checked out and the doctor finds no abuse with the other kids. They requested we turn them over and we do.
    We asked what we can do to get them back home they say as long as the stepdad is there the kids can’t come home. So the stepdad is gone at this point and the kids still can’t come home. About a month or two after all this happens their mom passes away she had cancer the whole time. They ended up closing the older son’s case and his biological dad gets full custody of him.

    But the other 2 kids are still not here with us & in still in the care of the family friend. We asked the social worker what we need to do she tells us it’s a process and they’ll be home soon.
    We go to a court date months later and find out that she recommends they stay with the family friend the kid’s were placed at in the beginning permanently. We were floored. We found out from the kid’s lawyer that we need to fill out an RFA form. We didn’t even know what an RFA was. This lady has no relation to them but now she wants to be their adopted parent.
    My sister’s boyfriend then is the father of one kid but not the other. We asked the social worker back in April to fill out the RFA for us and she showed up today and finally filled one out with us. She asked if we were willing to take one kid because the lady they’re with only wants the boy. We told her since they’re both our blood relatives and my littler sister has passed that we want them both back home. My question is what do I do at this point? I feel like they’ve taken advantage of the fact that we were clueless about the whole process. Do we have any rights to my deceased sister’s kids now that CPS is involved and they’ve taken reunification rights away from the dad/stepdad. What’s the quickest and most inexpensive way to get them back home with us?

    1. You need to file for guardianship or custody, depending on your state. you also need an attorney – you mention the least expensive method here – there is no inexpensive method here. You need an experienced custody lawyer and you need to fight – this is for the children and for keeping them together and with their family. Get rid of the car payment, start a second career / part-time job, sell stuff in the house, get rid of subscriptions and expensive phones, etc. Anything you can do, do it. And do it now. The clock is ticking.

      And keep this in mind as well: anyone that the court / CPS does NOT want to be around the kids now cannot live with you or be allowed to see the kids until or unless a court order says they can. This is not negotiable and is a must.

      Please get started right away, time is not on your side here.

    2. File for custody (sapcr), TRO and Writ of Habeas.
      Lawyer cost: $2,500 – $5,000
      I’m not an attorney but I have experience!

  21. CPS removed my grandsons from my daughter 9 years ago even though CPS has closed this case.I never received any paper work stating this only verbal confirmation from caseworker. My grandsons have lived with me ever since. My daughter has never gotten them back except for when she gets angry at me,but that could be for 2 days at the most.Both my grandsons complain that she smokes marijuana around them,and at times come home smelling like they have been smoking it themselves.When I question her about it,she becomes angry and stays away for awhile.She collects child support and claims both my grandsons at tax season.I take care of of grandson in the way a Mother should. While their Mother lives life to the fullest without bothering to see if my grandsons are fine. Do I have a chance of filing for custody?There are more issues with her,but that would be a novel in itself.

    1. Absolutely you can file for custody, or in some states, guardianship – and you should do so. Curious to also find out how much parenting time the father has since it sounds like he is paying child support and it is going to your daughter/children’s mother.

      One thing that can be an obstacle, which is why you need an attorney, is for issues of what is called “3rd party visitation/custody/parenting time”. This primarily only concerns what we would call “visitation” (think: grandparents visitation rights) where you are only asking for some time with the kids. There are restrictions on this in some states depending on whether the parents were ever married or not married.

      You situation differs though, because you were granted some type for guardianship – even if it was only temporary – at one point in time almost a decade ago. Still, the laws (statutes) can be an obstacle which is why you really need to pursue this with an experienced child custody attorney.

      The first thing you need to do is to start documenting everything – and do so in written format with dates, times, etc., because even though this might not be able to be used as evidence (it might be possible though) if there is a fight and guardian ad litem or child representative is appointed by the court (this is an attorney for the kids to determine what is in the children’s “best interests”), that child representative will read and use those notes. But they MUST be clear, bullet point type notes that are organized neatly by date. And they cannot be long drawn out stories that are a page long for each incident – they won’t get read if its too long. Short, bullet points, like this example:
      1. 12/1/2019 – kids went to mothers house at 10:00am and came back at 7:00pm. they smelled like marijuana smoke, they told me that their mother and her boyfriend were smoking marijuana in the other room while they were left to watch tv alone.
      2. 12/9/2019 – one of the kids was in a playoff basketball game at school. Mother said she would come to game and son was excited. Mother never showed up, never called.

      Just like that, short and sweet and to the point. Don’t wait any longer, the rights that you have to take care of these kids sounds tentative and you need to solidify them with a court order so that their mother doesn’t all of a sudden decide not to return them one day and you are left worrying about their well-being. Get started immediately with an experienced child custody attorney – this is important.

  22. Same thing happened to ny husband and i with our 2 grandkids…if you cannot retain a lawyer print out forms online which are probably freely available in your state online…emergency custody forms and take them to court house..they have to be presented before a judge…make sure you state if YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE PARENT LEAVING STATE WITH CHILD..
    be ready for the fight of your life…and good luck

    1. Yes, you must do something you cannot just sit back and feel bad for yourself and make yourself a victim. Waiting months will mean a loss, even with a great lawyer fighting for you. Action must be taken as soon as possible.

  23. My neighbor’s daughter is a drug addict, and he wants custody of his grandkids. Interestingly, emotional abuse harms a child more than physical abuse due to how much time it could take to realize what is going on, as you indicated. I will help him find the help he needs to get the custody of his grandson fo his safety.

  24. My daughter got pregnant at 14 I have been taking care of my granddaughter for over two years I have her in day care my daughter does things that she should not be doing she wants to leave at 18 with my granddaughter what can I do she cannot care for herself nor my granddaughter she

  25. My grand daughter and her mom are moving from house to house and state to state. Has a boyfriend it seems like every other month. I’ve picked her up and she has been dirty clothes dirty. Sometimes I have to go buy new clothes and pjs because mom didn’t send any because she didn’t wash them. Is there a chance I could get custody of my grand daughter she is 1 1/2 yrs old.

  26. My daughter was tooken from me @ 10yrs old she is now24..she gotten pregnant at 14yrs old while in dss custody …I was not present whn she signed the baby up for adoption..I knw i was not a perfect mother but my child was tooken from me….And she gets pregnant under their CARE please someone help me my life has been HELL!!

  27. My daughter is divorced and my grand daughter is now 11. The Dad agreed to them moving almost 1,000 miles away and my daughter agreed to holiday and summer visitation. Before they divorced and after ( for 5 years) i took care of my grand daughter having to move into their house. The Dad working and drinking and getting into trouble with the law, my daughter working part time, going to school had a drug addition. Their fighting continued through all of this. And still does.Last summer ( her Dad works nights) twice was left home alone while he went to work and is always yelling at my grand daughter because she does not want to stay with him anymore and cries most of the time. Also last summer my grand daughter confided in me that her mothers boyfriend who they live with apparently has laid on top of my grand daughter and she said moved up and down when he put her to bed. Talked to my daughter about this and she said grand daughter was making up things. My grand daughter calls me almost every night stressed, sometimes crying. They are flying here in a week for Dads summer visitation. I am on the phone with her for hours at night stressed and crying, sometimes sick because she has to go to her Dads in a week. Both parents are causing this beautiful child harm and i feel hopeless. She begs me to do something! I hurt for her! Help! What as a grand parent can i do?

  28. Hello my daughter got sent to jail for breaking a parole violation due to peeing dirty now she goes to court over my grand kids and cups and could be put in state hands should I get custody before court date. For my grand babies before it goes to court

  29. My daughter passed away 1 year ago grandchild has lived with me since he was born. Fad come in picture after not ever visiting child has been Cps cases my grandson come to visit which is court ordered with bruises and dirty have pictures of living situations he lives in a nasty house there are 5 kids born to this man and my grandchild is suffering hat do I do Texas grandmother needs help

  30. My daughter and grandson have been leaving with me and my boyfriend since he was born. He is 13 months. My daughter has been seeing this guy she knows and the day after Thanksgiving he hit her. We filed a report with the police. My daughter was very scared for the baby, herself, me and my boyfriend safety. We had a temporary restraining order on him. This month right before the holidays my daughter moved out with the baby to apply for an emergency section 8 apartment but I also found out that she went back with this same guy. I am at a lost of what to do. I have been sick worry about both my daughter and my grandson. As a grandparent am I able to get custody of him so that he is not in danger from this abusive person. Any advise would help me out alot.

    1. Same thing happened to ny husband and i with our 2 grandkids…if you cannot retain a lawyer print out forms online which are probably freely available in your state online…emergency custody forms and take them to court house..they have to be presented before a judge…make sure you state if YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE PARENT LEAVING STATE WITH CHILD..
      be ready for the fight of your life…and good luck

  31. My daughter has a son he is 3 years old now and lived with me till june 2016 than the father and her signed a agreement that they would get him 1week on 1week off, than in march of this year the father told a GAL he didnt want to be a dad and his parents went to court and gained guardienship of him for 120 days and never took it back to court to renew it. my grandson came and stayed with me for 4 days in august 2017 and than when he went back to his other grandparents house there lawyer sent myself and my daughter a letter stating that we could not see him anymore because when he was here he had seen his mother for 4 hours supervised by my self and her dad and yes there is a court order that she needs to be supervised but doesnt say by whom and that the place needs to be agreed upon between both parties, and they deemed there son as missing and on drugs to the court but allows him to come and stay with him alone for days on end but will only give my daughter 2 hour visits when they see fit and now since august she hasnt seen him nor have i what can we do or what can i do to be able to see my grandson again? the courts also said because the other grandparents told them that my daughter was on drugs which she wasnt that she had to do 60 days of drug testing which she never completed but did go in in august 2017 and paid out of her pocket for a hair folical test that goes back 90 days and came out clean and than in october did another one that came back clean for 90 days back also has her own place to live her and her husband work and they have a 2 1/2 month old son also she nneds to get her son back please help

  32. My 20 year old daughter and her 11month old son live with me, they have since he was born. She has worked maybe 3 weeks out of the 11 months that she has been a mother, I support both my daughter and my grandson. However she allows him to go to his paternal grandmothers house for days at a time, she has to be told when to feed/bath her child, she is absent minded when it comes to his care. Example, he sleeps in her bed, which is mess and I have on occasion found pennies in the bed, um he might choke if he gets a hold of them. She does not keep up with his doctor’s appointments and I have no say, as I am not his parent. Is there any legal remedy that is in the best interest for both my daughter and my grandson?

  33. I have legal guardianship of my 17 year old and 11 year old grandchildren for the past 11 years. Fathers are out of the picture. Mother is unmarried and has 3 more children and lives in another state. Now she wants custody and is persuing it in her state. Can she do that? The children do not want to go with her. The youngest doesn’t even know her only seeing her maybe 3 times. She has not been at all involved with their lives since I have had them . At this age do the children have the right to choose. Can a judge in another state revolk my court order. She says yes.

  34. It seems to me that this “in the best interest of the child” ruling is nothing more than being humored. We screamed and screamed but no one listens! Not the lawyers, counselors, cops,etc! All they want to do is put the child back with the parents no matter what

  35. Hi my husband and I have a 9 year old grandson whom has been in states custody for about 1 and a half years. We are trying to obtain custody and get unsupervised visits every other weekend. His father is in prison and his mother has just started complying with the courts after a year and a half and has only seen him one in this time. My husband and I have jumped through hoops we have even obtained a foster care licens. Our grandson does NOT share a bond with his mother for she has not really been in his life but a few times since he was 3. My husband and I have a very strong bond with this child for we have had him since birth. He wants to live with us. Does his voice count, and how many chances does his mother get before they terminate her rights?

  36. Christine Mitchell

    My son received a court order where he has legal custody, and the mother cannot even have visitation. She is a heroin addict, and has been away from my grandson for over two years. My grandson has been living with me for all of this time. My son recently fell for her tricks, and has allowed her to live in his apartment. She now wants to see Travis all of the time, but there is the court order stating she is not to come around her son. She has not had any professional help for her addiction nor any mental help which she desperately needs. I have the court order in my possession, and was wondering if I can keep my son from taking my grandson to his apartment since she is now living there. He does have legal custody, but again, there is a court order for her to stay away from my grandson. Which takes precedence, the legal custody or the court order. It worries me that she is with him and a heroin addict. Can I keep them from taking him from my home when he feels safe, and says this is his home. Please advise quickly.

  37. Becky Williams

    I have 4 grandchildren and 1 is special needs autistic Ethan has Azburger) age 12- daughter is married to a convicted felon strong arm robbery- he is black and teaching the youngest child age ( his biological) 11 to hate whites – his syblings and mother are white- she is living with another black gangbanger who has been in and out of prison 4 times now and 3 of his 6 children and using her food assistance and Ethan’s social security and the 3 boys child support to support her current boyfriend and kids. Her boyfriend is a pot dealer selling pot to my 14 year old grandson. All of the boys (3) stay with her husband 1 week and with my daughter the next. Her husband has physically abused the 14 year old for years. He is the cook and caretaker of the other 2 on a regular basis- he’s always in trouble at school and sometimes works with my son n law on the week end doing lawn care- he told me that they steal chemicals and lawn fertilizers ( not only is he teaching Alec to steal he is also exposing him to dangerous chemicals) (because he is also using them for side jobs to pocket literally thousands per month) from his employer and sell them to a bunch of others in the DFW area. When the 14 year old goes with his step dad they generally are gone all day until 8-9 pm leaving the 11 and 12 year old in the house by themselves. Even though my daughter is just blocks away she doesn’t check on them or feed them at all. Ethan can’t count past 12 nor read and write. He’s brilliant and capable it’s just the school system puts all challenged children in a group called special Ed where he gets no stimulation concerning the very basic scholastics- he will be 13 in June – when I have him I work with him, but I have only been in his life after being denied to see them for 6 years for the last 9 months. There is a court order and has been for 9 years that I have 18 hours a month visitation in motion is in Dallas family court- CPS WAS SUCH A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE THE FIRST TIME- it cost me personally 60,000.00 and the loss of my home in attorney’s fees just to get visitation( daughter lied to courts concerning my character and claimed I used drugs) hair test proved her a liar but was not administered until mediationat end of 18 month battle in court) after my daughter allowed another man she bred with ( Alec’s father ) to seriously abuse Peyton who is 18 now and living with her father( whole other story) I turned him in she would not leave hence cops nightmare- I want custody and can provide every need from therapy to education for the boys- I do not want to involve CPS – ( FYI I work with Vocal now for past 3 years fighting unlawful actions by cops) national org – please help me. I cannot sit back and watch this continue

  38. Hi my mom is trying to get custody of my two nieces her grad daughters how can she go about doing this, also the father is incarcerated up in Bloomsberg,PA at the Columbia County Prison. My brother also wants my Mpm to get custody of the kids. They are presently with the wife’s parents house. But in a bad situation the parents smoke pot and cigarettes in front of them and are verbally abusing them. Please we need help!!!!

  39. Elisabeth lavalley

    My son might go to prison I have two grandkids which his girlfriend!s mother is taking care of the kids but won’t let me visit them. What right or action should I take to aloud me to visit them

  40. My grand children are girls ages 8 and 9. They are now going to school in Palm Coast , Florida. My daughter- in -law decided she wanted a divorce in 2015 spring. She had a boyfriend and wanted out of the marriage.
    I, as a nurse of 40 years (most of them as an Rn in the ER), find her to be bipolar.m wonderful, one minute, evil the next.
    She frequently goes to the police to file various complaints about thus, that, and anyone. Sadly she is teaching my grand children this is the way to get what what you want in life. After 12 years of knowing her , I feel she is sadly in need of mental health. She has my 9 year old grand daughter call my son to warn him she will not spend time with him til he makes her weekly alimony, child support, dental insurance payment ASAP.
    Of late my son goes to the area where the bus picks the girls on the bus to give them a 30 second kiss in the morning and see them onto the bus. She mother has not allowed these children to go to public school for at least 2 years. They stay home with younger brother, who is now 18, and do home schooling, which really means, they have no activities, no adult supervision, no interaction with people outside of the family. They’ve been home with a teenage son for 2 years.
    Total dysfunction is going on for these children. As a grand mother, what are my options? I consider this child abuse. I’m an RN in New York State. How do I advise my son. I believe he would like custody.

    1. Please give us a call or fill out the side form on our site. This is a serious matter, and your son is going to need the assistance of a local fathers rights attorney. If this is a matter of grandparents rights, we can help there as well. Being that you are in a different state poses a difficult problem because the case will have to be filed in Florida, there the children reside. Your son cannot wait any longer, he must file for custody or visitation immediately. The longer he waits, the more it will appear to the judge that he does not care. This is no joke, he needs to act this week – too much time has gone by already.

  41. My daughter is having issues with drug, she has been inpatient for addiction once and signed herself in less than a week. Her addictions have worsened she has left my 6 year old grandson in charge of his 3 year old sister and other young children while adults sleep thru the day. She can’t be reasoned with, the people in this house were using and selling drugs, heavily they were renting cars to do it. My grandson told me his mom delivered donuts to adults at night then he said grandma I think she’s lieing I thing she’s selling DR’s I asked what that was he said drugs. I quickly changed the subject. She has now left her children with someone out of state, I did contact DCFS after trying to talk to her an got no where, no one knows where she is now. These people where the kids live, are living with 8 adults and other children in this house. There’s much more. I want to get at least temporary custody until she cleans up and gets it together, my grandson’s dad is all for it, my granddaughters dad is not in her life. Can I get my grandchildren here with me where they are safe. They have thier own rooms in my house. And we adore each other. Please help me. I am low income so I don’t have the money for attorneys. I live in Illinois the kid are in Missouri, they all 3 are on my lease with me. What do I do?

    1. DCFS should investigate the home where the kids are living, but since they are in Missouri, you will need to contact Missouri DCFS. Being low income makes things extremely difficult, because issues like this are not easy, so most free attorneys do not want to get involved. Your best bet is to scrape together what you have and hire someone, either an attorney or a company that can help you draft the proper documents for your case. Contact us on our form and we will put you in touch with someone, but in this type of case, you will need to work out some type of payment arrangement with him or her to fight for child custody rights.

      1. so my daughter isn’t really being a good mother she is leaving her daughter alone yes she may be 11 but not the point, she is always with her b/f who my granddaughter is scared of she does not like him at all she shouts at her takes her phone of her and my mother doesn’t do anything about it because I think she is scared. I have messages every night when my granddaughter is at her house and she’s saying she really doesn’t want to be there and she doesn’t like it what do I do?
        she also sleeps over my house cause her mother works regularly but her mother is now stopping her because her daughter never wants to come home there has to be a reason right?
        I am going to get custody of my granddaughter because I think she’ll be safer am I doing the right thing? I need advice ASAP someone is coming out today thanks x

        1. Changing custody from a parent to a grandparent is a pretty big deal and a very high threshold in most states. I take it that either the father is not in the picture? Primarily, courts prefer that a parent retain the custodial rights of their children over 3rd parties unless there is serious damage to done for not doing so. the normal threshold for custody of children in almost every state is this: the best interests of the child. the courts start from the presumption that it is in the child’s best interest to be living with a parent. So that first must be proven, that neither parent is fit.

          You will have to show that there is some type endangerment should this child be left at mom’s house. Maybe the boyfriend is violent or threatening, or maybe its the leaving of an 11-year old home alone that is concerning. I would certainly expect that the courts and/or department of children and family services would be upset with leaving an 11-year old home alone for an extended period of time. While 11 is not a baby, it is hardly old enough where being left alone maybe for 5-6 hours at night or during the day, all day, is inappropriate. But that is ultimately for a judge to decide. Most would probably have a big problem with this though.

          You will need significant proof that there is harm being done – mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically to this child to have the courts yank her away from mom – and know that this is going to destroy the relationship you have with her and if you lose, obtaining grandparent visitation rights will be difficult since mom will fight you on that as well.

          The point here is this: you need to make sure you have more than enough evidence to prove your case – and this does NOT mean a few texts from your granddaughter, because that will carry a tiny amount of weight – you need rock solid proof of neglect, abuse, or something similar, specifically because you are NOT one of the child’s parents.

          Be prepared, and then over prepare, and make sure all is in order, and then get an expert child custody attorney on your side and fight for your granddaughters best interests.

          1. My dad is a vary angry man when he get mad at us her chooses to beat us with a paddle he made from a 2 by 4 he raises it above his head and swings so hard it leaves bruises, swelling,and sometimes welts it is sometimes hard to sit and hurts to walk I have had many people ask why I was limping there has also been mental abuse he and my stepmom has fat shamed me and my brother I have been told that I make there life’s hell and that hit me hard I thought I would end it there it sounds bad but you should never make someone hurt that bad CPS got involved in my family and I am now at my grandma’s waiting for it all like go down I’m so stressed I’ve had huge panic attack I’m currently staying at my grandma’s and my dad has leaving me alone I am now safe for now but it’s either this goes down and I go with my dad or I stay with my grandma and then the last option is me going into a foster home or my non-custodial parent

          2. Please continue to seek the help and advice of counselors and your school – they should be able to put you in touch with the right people that can help make sure that you are safe. this is a terrible situation and one that needs a professional to step in immediately, but you need your grandparents to get involved and hire a lawyer right away. CPS will normally only enter temporary safety plans, and what you need is a lawyer to file for guardianship / custody to take control and make sure it becomes long-term to keep you safe!

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