Raising grandson

Tumbleweed - posted on 03/03/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

12

0

2

We would like some sort of guardianship of our grandson. We are in our 70's. We have raised him since birth. Parents divorced when he was 1.5 years old. Parents have 50/50 custody, but in reality, Mother has him 2 days/week due to her work schedule. Father (our son) did things with the child the first 2 years, then got a girlfriend with children. He saw his son for about 2 hours in January, none so far in February.
We pay for all food, diapers, clothing and school tuition. Mother reimburses half for tuition; father pays NOTHING.
We would like half-custody with the mother, but are afraid this would mean the end of total relationship with our son, which we do not want.
Any ideas, other grandmothers in this situation???

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ev - posted on 03/03/2016

7,945

7

918

I do not think Mary Ann was being negative but just truly saying how it can be in some if not most cases. Unless there is proof that the judge can deem necessary to give you guardianship of the child, you can not just file for custody of the child if there are current orders in place with the parents. Also I can understand paying for all things for the child and so on and it is a burden to finance that. Since the parents have joint custody already, they are responsible to each other for child support if there is that. They should be paying back for the stuff you have done for the child. As for dad not seeing his son, that is on him and you can not force anyone to do something they do not want to do. As for getting CPS involved, if you are sure there is something that is akin to danger to the child while in mom's care, then report it and let them determine if there is a need for the child to be placed elsewhere. Otherwise, you do not have much to stand on to gain custody. A lot of mom's post here about the father's of their kids not showing up or helping out for years and the man comes into the picture and gets rights to see his kids--is it right? No. But that is how it goes. As for grandparent rights--that totally depends on the state/country you live in. Not all states have grandparent rights at all while some do. As was suggested its best to document all things that you are concerned about, talk to a lawyer and then go from there.

Jodi - posted on 03/03/2016

3,562

36

3907

I think it depends on where you live. Have a chat to a lawyer first to make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Unfortunately, yes, you may lose your son......but isn't he already a bit lost? If you really had a relationship with him, and he really cared, he'd be involved now. Those kids need an advocate, and it seems you are willing to provide that for them (good on you!). They have a chance at a decent life if you can do that.

Jodi - posted on 03/03/2016

3,562

36

3907

I don't know where you live, but have child protection ever been involved? If both parents are shown to be unfit, they can arrange for a foster care for the child, which would generally be a close family member if possible. It may be worth talking to someone about that.

I would totally recommend you speak to a lawyer who knows the law better in your area. For instance, where I live, grandparent rights are a reality, and judges will look at the best interests of the child. If the child is mostly living with you but you can't even get medical care for him, then a judge is going to consider that as something the child needs. I also know that most foster care here will be handed over to a family member if there is someone appropriate to care for the child.

12 Comments

View replies by

Ev - posted on 03/03/2016

7,945

7

918

It takes special people to take on the responsibility of others like this. Good luck to you and I hope you can get it set up where you are at least for the time being taking care of him.

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2016

9,445

0

22

God Bless you for being there for your grandson, that poor little guy did not ask for any of this.

Tumbleweed - posted on 03/03/2016

12

0

2

Thank you. These are all good points. I realize we are up against a wall.
We do document everything. What the parents SHOULD do is irrelevant. As you said, they are both adults (in their 40's) and cannot be forced to do anything.
There is a long story behind their relationship (met in HS). She tried to find him for 21 years after graduation and found him on FB. At that time she was on medication for her mental issues & had us all fooled. Our friends, however, immediately saw red flags.
Water under the bridge. The first year they were married, she "surprised" him with a weekend trip when he had no time to think about birth control. Sure enough, she got pregnant and once the baby was born, kicked our son out.
He is just as bad in not seeing his son. We all live within one mile of each other.
We will just keep on keeping on for our grandson's sake. Thanks again.

Tumbleweed - posted on 03/03/2016

12

0

2

Thank you so much for your reply. It is very helpful.
I am 75, my husband is 72. We are very fit and healthy and enjoy this child.
Getting permission for ANYTHING from the mother is impossible as she does not think like other people.
Her main goal in life is to keep the child to herself and away from other family members.
I do not know the protocol for foster parents, but will look into that.
Again, thank you & God bless you.

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2016

9,445

0

22

I am a school nurse in an area where many children are being raised by extended family due to one or both parents are in treatment for drugs, jail or otherwise unable to parent. You must speak to a lawyer or the children's' doctor, or social services about this. CPS may deem your age to high to name you as guardians. No matter how good your health, the reality is you may not live to see this child to adulthood. You can apply to be foster parents and get government assistance for the care of the child. Tread slowly and carefully as you do not want his child pulled from your home. In my experience CPS is usually very willing to keep a child in a place they feel safe and with family. Rather than foster parenting legal guardianship can be given to you voluntarily by the parents. Could you persuade the parents to agree to let you take guardianship for the next year and then reevaluate?

Tumbleweed - posted on 03/03/2016

12

0

2

We've heard horror stories about getting CPS involved, but your reply is very encouraging and positive.

Thank you!

Tumbleweed - posted on 03/03/2016

12

0

2

What would we gain??
1) The ability to take the child for medical/dental care as needed, not when it turns into an emergency.
2) The right to educate this child without begging the parents to let us do so.
3) The right to take the child to see his cousins, aunts, etc.
4) The right to keep the child from harmful influence of others.

If you've never dealt with a person with borderline personality, you cannot understand. The mother has never even said thank you to us in 3.5 years for the free childcare which is far superior to any daycare. If not for us, he would be in an unlicensed private home with no regulations or safeguards. She has put him in danger numerous time, expecting him to participate in things far beyond his 3.5-year-old abilities.

We are treated like the enemy. When she is in her "manic" phase she makes picky demands about what he can wear/eat/see/do. At her house, candy is out all the time for him to eat, she dresses him in 2-sizes too big clothes and shoes, which he trips over.

With no legal rights, her own parents raised her daughter who is now 21 years old. They also disowned her several years ago.

We have tried to be "family" for her, but she will not allow it. We only want what is best for this child but she refuses to allow us anything at all. All the responsibility, none of the authority.

We could move back to our home state, but then what becomes of this child who has no one else to stick up for him?

I'm looking for suggestions and solutions, not negative replies. Thank you.

MaryAnn - posted on 03/03/2016

347

0

17

I am curious as to what the benefit of having custody is? Where the child sleeps, and how the mother working means that she only has her son two days a week? If the child is staying with you, and too you feel too much responsibility is falling on you, I would strongly suggest that you talk to her about this and brainstorm other ways she could be more involved.
I dont know a whole lot about grandparents and custody, but I am willing to bet that where you are, non parents can not have custody of children who have ANY living parents with rights. And its tough to strip parents of rights. Especially since you dont allude to any abuse.
Going to court could ruin your relationship with BOTH parents, and in turn, you could lose the grandchild.
At that point you could go to court to gain grandparents rights (grandparents rights must be awarded by a judge- you dont have any until you are awarded), however, without proving the parents are unfit, which it doesnt sound like they legally are, you would likely be awarded visitation rights, however likely no more time than the non custodial parent.
If this is about money, you could sue in small claims.
Or..
Better yet, figure out your local legalities in claiming dependants in taxes, and ask BOTH parents for the legal go ahead.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms