custody help!! I am so confused

Amanda - posted on 06/08/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My oldest daughter has lived mostly with her grandparents since she was born. I lived there for the first year and a half of her life. Then her, her father and I got an apartment of our own. We lived there for a year and had another child. We lost the apartment 2 months after my second daughter was born due to their dad running off with the rent plus our savings. Me and my girls were homeless moving place to place. Because my oldest was older i wanted her to have a stable home and let her stay with her grandparents. She would come stay a few nights with me when I would stay at my parents for a little while this was how it was for a few year. I ended up saving money and bought a trailer. My youngest now was older and needes stability. I wanted to have my oldest back but i know felt guilt about taking her away from "home". So i let it be. Her grandmother came to me and told me she needed some type of custody that proved my daughter lived with her to get her enrolled in school. I was horrified and distraught at the that of not having custody or any rights to her. I cried alot and decided to look up custody arrangement decided it was only right to give her grandma 50/50 custody. I would have just as much rights to my daughter and no way for her to tell me i couldnt have her. We go to mediation and i tell him i want 50/50 with her grandma. He asked alot of question like her primary residence. And i made sure it was them so they could enroll her in school. My only input other then the 50/50 was that i would be allowed to have my daughter when i wanted and couldnt be told no. Remember i know absolutely nothing about what any of this means. Papers are signed and finalized. Now I am realizing we do not have 50/50. Her grandmother has primary custody. And i pretty much have no rights. She has final say so over everything including telling me no when i ask for my daughter. How i told the court 50/50. I had full custody and all rights and i told them i still wanted half custody. How can they take all away?

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Dove - posted on 06/09/2015

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Were all of these arrangements made in mediation or did you both not agree and it was heard by a judge to make the decision? You need a lawyer... and should have read and understood all documents before signing them. You NEVER sign a document that you don't understand... which you have now learned the hard way. Good luck!

Raye - posted on 06/09/2015

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Sorry if this sounds harsh, but did you not read the documents before you signed them? Even if the court awarded your mother primary custody, you should have still received some kind of visitation plan. Even with 50/50, you have to make arrangements for when the child will be with you and when she would be with her grandparents. You can't just have her whenever you feel like it and "not be told no". If you went in with that attitude, then the judge may have felt you were immature. The judge will rule in favor of what they believe the best interest of the child is, which may not be what you want or thought you would allow. You should have had a lawyer to help you understand the possibilities and what rights you may or may not retain in that "agreement". You can still get a lawyer and try to fight back, or you can come to a mutual agreement with your parents to set up a visitation schedule.

Michelle - posted on 06/09/2015

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You need to get a lawyer, they will give the best advice for where you live.

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