Can my daughter's grandparents take me to court for "shared custody"?

Nicole - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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Me and my daughter's father broke up when i was 4 months pregnant and him and his family had nothing to do with us until she was 3 months old....... and that was only because i drove the 9 hours to take her to them. Now his mother is starting to ask me for shared custody. Me and 'the father' have come to an arragement that we are happy with but that does not involve overnight stays or visits without me there as he is not ready to be by himself with her. I got slightly worried when his mother suggested that we do 50/50 custody but she was the one getting the custody not her son........ and the fact she wanted her 50% custody to be a 6 month block. HELL NO i said. I'm really not ready to let my 4 month old daughter spend a night away from me.

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Heather - posted on 01/20/2012

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The only way I have ever heard of a grandparet getting any kind of custody of a child is if their child (one of the parents) has passed away and the child and the grandparents were extremely close. Other then that I have not heard of anything else like that. I am not saying it is not possible because anything is possible. I would contact a lawyer just be be on the safe side.

Tonya - posted on 01/19/2012

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I read your post where you stated you didn't want sole custody due to one day wanting the father to have more rights to the child. Having gone through this whole mess with my husband and his ex wife I would strongly advise you to get something in writing stating you have sole custody. What that will do for you is give you sole legal and physical custody of that child with out taking his parental rights away. This will allow you the ability to make the sole decision on what happens to your child. Also the grandparents rights very by state but for the most part if the child doesn't have a strong attachment to their grandparents and the child is being taken care of the court wont get involved. In other words the grandmother is out of luck.

Angela - posted on 12/13/2013

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My understanding is that IN GENERAL for GP rights to apply there must be a number of criteria met. These usually include:

1) A pre-existing relationship
2) A severing of that relationship
3) Evidence that the child would be harmed by not having a relationship with the GP
4) Whether or not the parents are married can complicate matters. In Alberta, where we live, GP must ask leave of the court to even apply for GP rights if the parents are married. In some places, GP rights aren't even available if the parents are married.

Due to the fact that GM is not a parent of your DD, I would find it highly unlikely that she would get custody. The most she MIGHT get is visitation rights - and I would find that unlikely as well, given that your DD is only 4 months old. 4 months old is not enough for a relationship to have been established OR for the child to suffer harm even if a relationship WAS established.

*This is not meant to be legal advice. In similar cases, you should consult with a lawyer.

Casey - posted on 01/13/2012

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where i am from MA the grandparents have grandparents rights where you go to court and they will give them up for 8 hrs a week with the child..

Shaz - posted on 01/05/2012

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grandparents can have rights depends on where you live. but I highly doubt that a court would grant shared custody since visitation is not a problem or hasnt been denied

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Sheila - posted on 03/11/2014

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My son and his ex-wife have 3 kids, she left alone3 months ago, she has only wanted to see her kids a few days since, she now lives with her boyfriend and his kids, can I as a my sons mother, kids grandmother and the father take custody together?

Melissa - posted on 06/23/2013

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Some states do have grandparent rights but it only extends to visitation. Not custody! The only way I know of that she can get custody is if you pass away or the courts say your an unfit mother

Deborah - posted on 06/17/2013

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I NEED TO FIND A LAWYER TO GET MY GRANDSON FULL SOLE CUSTODY OF HIM. HE IS ONE YEARS OLD. MY OLDEST DAUGHTER ISN'T DURING THE RIGHT THING BY HIM AT ALL. ALL SHE DOES IS DROP HIM OFF WITH ANY AND EVERYBODY, SMOKE WEED, AND GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE. I'M A SINGLE MOM OF THREE AND BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR FIVE YEARS. BUT I NEED TO SAVE MY GRAND BABY! DO ANY ONE KNOW OF A GOOD FAMILY LAWYER THAT MAY HELP ME AND DO PRO-BONO WORK?

Nishana - posted on 09/11/2012

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My sisters boyfriend passed away when her son was about a month old. His mother took her to court..she wanted custody. When that didnt work she ended up with visitation. There are "Grandparents rights" when it comes to kids...dont know what they are. Good luck

Rose - posted on 09/08/2012

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Um.... HELL NO!! You said it just right sister! HELL TO THE NO! Stand your ground on this one and don't back down!

La Tasha - posted on 01/18/2012

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Grandparents have rights as the childs blood next of kin... they are usually allowed visits but anyone I think can file for custody ONLY if they feel or can prove the child is somehow being abused... but if they are good ppl why not...and you do kow if they share custody ..(god forbid) anything happens to them she will be their hare to everything!??

Stephanie - posted on 01/17/2012

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I really can't believe a grandparent would think it's ok to even think of suggesting 50/50, crazy woman, you stay where you are and if they want to see your child then they know where you are. And get full custody ASAP, always protect yourself and your child, you never know what could happen x

Tina - posted on 01/16/2012

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I know in the Irish law grandparents can apply to see their grandchildren but not on a 50 / 50 basis unless there is any other reason the courts find the grandparents favourable for extra visits. But any lawyer that deals in family law could guide you on this, but look up your nearest citizens advice centres for more information. Good Luck

Patsy - posted on 01/09/2012

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No, grandparents only have visitation rights, not custody unless the child is on danger or in an abused home. Good luck

Jodie - posted on 01/04/2012

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You child is still a baby and in my opinion, should only stay with people you trust IF you want to leave her. I think, as the child gets older, say about 2 or 3 years old, you might want to think about weekends with him and/or his family but not every weekend. And is also depends on how your child feels about it. I wouldn't force my child to stay with anyone they didnt want to stay with. Seek legal advice because they are asking too much, even when the child gets older.

Amanda - posted on 12/31/2011

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Research the grandparents rights in your city county and state. It all depends on where you live vs where they live. And each state is different.

Christina - posted on 05/23/2011

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No, she can't get 50/50 custody. Especially if you and the dad have a good parenting plan. She isn't being denied access to her grandchild, so she can't even sue in court for "visitation".
Just keep things open with the dad. Let him know that when he is ready to try it alone, then he can start taking his daughter for a few hours at a time at first, and slowly work up to overnight visits so neither him or your daughter is stressed out. Grandma needs to butt out.

User - posted on 05/05/2011

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as long as the father is not the one who's fighting for the custody..theres nothing to be worried...just pray that the grandparents dont push the father to do that..and besides as long as your child is below 5yrs old they should sleep with the mother..especially its 3months old only...no way the court will agree with them...you have all the rights and reason why they can not borrow her overbight...simply because the child needs you at night..thats what happen with my cousin same situation..they ;ve been in the police station for that trouble the grandparents wants the child...pray nicole to give you wisdom...smile

Alisha - posted on 05/04/2011

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I honestly don't think a grandparent could ever get custody (which is decision making for the child) but depending on the state a grandparent may be able to get set visitation for a few times a month but a grandparent can't just take you to court and try to get the child half the time unless the child's dad agrees and is doing this. I would honestly contact the courts and just ask them the questions you have and write them down, also document EVERYTHING such as convos b/t these grandparents and your child's dad and things they say and propose etc. I wouldn't stand for this crap if I were you! I would come off as wanting to work with them, but tell them you are the mother so you would like primary placement, which is how it currently is.

Donna - posted on 04/21/2011

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to my knowledge you can always change the order later -I believe in most counties it would be called a modified order of custody for visitation only.

Jillian - posted on 03/23/2011

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file for sole custody asap.. you need your rights on paper.. i went thro something similar and the paternal grandmother kept my son from me for a month until ordered back by the courts, bc no one had a custody order..Grandparents have no legal rights either,., the son would have to sign his part of the rights over.. but please please please, for your childs sake, go and file.. as a mother, you are 99% guarantees to receive what you file as long as your not unfit. Good luck.

Caryn - posted on 02/28/2010

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You should get sole custody, in writing. It does not prevent you from letting her have contact with her father - it just put you in charge of the situation. You can decide he can have overnight visits eventually - but it just covers yourself and your daughter. I have a now, 5yr old daughter, and have full custody of her. Her father wasn't involved for a very long time - he has just started wanting to see her.... but I know I have control over when and where. I won't prevent the relationship -- but I feel better knowing I know her and working on what's comfortable for all of us -- not just what he wants.
All states are different with Grandparents rights.... just look into it and cover yourself... no one knows what's better for your daughter than you do! Good Luck and enjoy your little bundle of joy!!

Coreen - posted on 02/27/2010

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They can apply for it but they will have to show why it is in the best interest of the child and you will have to respond. If an agreement can not be worked out a judge will decide what he thinks is best.

Robyn - posted on 02/25/2010

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also, yeah- if neither parent can parent then courts try to find close relatives to do foster or permanent placement- but this is totally different, you are parenting and from what i assume/understand doing a fine job of it, so it would be detrimental, not beneficial, for this to happen (the point of relative placement is to minimize disruption and keep the kiddos in the family unit somehow when the parents' ability to actually parent is in question or they are disabled or killed and thus not available that way) so that wouldn't apply (responding to a PP whose situation sounds more like this)..

Robyn - posted on 02/25/2010

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depends on the state for g'parents rights but it would not ever be "custody," just right to visit.

that said, some g'parents will use their son (child's father) and fund/instigate a court battle for HIM (as the other parent) to "officially" get that custody, so they can then utilize it if he doesn't want it.

sad situation and hope you do not face it. it is not fair for her to be traveling that far that often, not stable/consistent for a child, deceitful on top of that, and grandparents' role is not parenting, they have done their parenting.i think try to help them be involved by sending pics etc. invite them to visit for a holiday or something- don't get confrontational but know that is not reasonable and hope they can see that.. if they keep bringing it up let them know that if they have played a role (which they have not really?) they may have some rights to visit, but that in no state will g'parents get actual parenting time/custody if there is one or both actual parents who are actively parenting and fit to do so (as you are) geez.

they need to step back and understand that you and the father are the parents, and have come to an arrangement you are both happy with and is in the best interests of your daughter. by all means encourage occasional updates or visits w/ grandparents if they are positive people, the more positive family and friends involved the better, but it sounds like they are really crossing boundaries, and just be warned and keep communication open with your daughter's father, since the lowest of low is when g'parents use their own adult child as a tool in the legal system to try to get around custody laws and get their own parenting time which is not appropriate imho.

best of luck, keep on looking out for your beautiful babe and keep us posted, hugs :)

Kathryn - posted on 02/25/2010

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where are you from...i know in Florida there is no such thing as grandparents right...i know this because i asked my attorney when my 3 year old's father's parents tried to take me to court for their rights...my attorney said that it wouldn't ever make it to court because there is no such thing...you need to find out if the state to are in has grandparents rights or not..

Heidi - posted on 02/25/2010

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You want to go and get legal custoy of your child, this has nothing to with visitaion. I have sole legal custody of my three children and their father just has visitatin rights and that is it. this protects your daughter from anyone trying to do take her ....etc...

Deanna - posted on 02/24/2010

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Not sure if its the same everywhere, but getting sole custody does not mean that her father cannot have visitation or eventually have overnights. I know that in NJ custody and parenting time are two separate things. So having sole custody just keeps the baby safe if you are concerned that they might take her for a visit and not bring her back. This way you can call the police to show that you have sole custody and that she is to be returned to you.

KARMISHA - posted on 02/24/2010

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MY GRANDPARENTS DID THAT WITH MY LITTLE COUSINS BUT IT WAS A DIFFERENT SITUATION THEY'RE MOM HAD PASSED A YEAR A GO AND THE FATHER WAS NEVER AROUND TIL AFTER HER DEATH AND MY GRANDPARENTS TOOK HIM TO COURT FOR CUSTODY THEY DIDNT REALLY WANT TO GIVE HER CUSTODY BECAUSE OF HER AGE. BUT THEY HAVE SHARED CUSTODY SHE GETS THE A WEEK AND HE KEEPS THEM A WEEK WI=HICH IS NOT STABLE FOR THE KIDS BUT IN YOUR CASE I DON'T THINK U HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT BECAUSE U ARE THE PARENT AND IF THE FATHER IS OK WITH THE ARRANGENMENT THEY SHOULD STAY OUT OF IT I UNDERSTAND HOW U FEEL ABOUT HER ONLY BEING 4 MONTHS I WOULD THINK SHE'S TO YOUNG MY DAUGHTER IS 2 AND I HATE TO LET HER STAY WITH ANYONE OVER NIGHT

Joanne - posted on 02/24/2010

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Grandparent rights vary from state to state. You may want to check with an attorney in your area to find out what legal recourse they have. If they are in a different state than you, from what I understand, they would have to file in the state you reside in and the courts would be hard pressed to rule that it's in the best interest of the child to visit for extended lengths of time with people he/she doesn't know. I would definitely get some kind of court mandated custody arrangement in place with the father to protect yourself and your child.

Nicole - posted on 02/24/2010

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thanks guys....... its just hard not to worry...... this is one of the most weirdest family's i've known and are pretty much capable of anything. I'm going to continue to do the right thing by my daughter and her father but he is very easily manipulated by his parent's that he changes his mind so much. As for custody rights, i haven't gone to court to get sole custody as i want her dad to eventually (one day) be able to have her for over night visits. Just when we live closer to eachother not hours and hours away.

Aubrey - posted on 02/24/2010

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well...there are grandparent's rights, but if they aren't making the effort to see the baby now, they can't do anything. if the father sees her then that's their opportunity to see her also. don't worry, it's not worth the stress

Deanna - posted on 02/23/2010

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It amazes me that a grandmother would think that a 6 month block of time away from you would be a good idea. Most courts would recognize that a 4 month old should not be away from their mother for such a long period of time. It's as if the mothers of our children's fathers forget what it was like to be a parent of a baby that young. I am sorry you have to go through this. I agree that you should go to court and get sole custody or at least physical custody. Then get visitation with the father set through the court how you want it set up. Then it makes it even harder for the grandmother to do anything. Protect yourself. Good luck.

Katie - posted on 02/23/2010

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there are grandparents rights and they can fight for them, but in many courts it is very limited time that the grandparents get. Most of the time it would be that they would have to come to you and would get to spend like one day a month with the child.. Its a long process that the grandparents would have to go threw to even get these rights tho.

Kristin Amber Dawn Maire - posted on 02/23/2010

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You should be fine

do you have sole custody right now ?

the grandparents dont have as much right as the father dose

If you havent gone to court yet Id do it soon get sole custody

on paper then keep the arragement that you and her father have made tell grandma she can see her when her son dose and that you dont feel right about leaveing her over night as Im sure you already have

good luck

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