I have a question. My daughter (who is bi-polar) has fought with and has estranged herself and my 3-year old grandson from our whole loving family and I'm worried about my grandson's safety. She's verbally and mentally abusive (in front of my grandson) and she needs some extreme psycho therapy, which is hard for a father to admit. I know this because she, her husband and my grandson lived with us for 2 1/2 years and I (and my entire family have witnessed her mental and verbal abuse - at times, to him. I don't suspect she's physically hurting him (I pray), but I do suspect she's mentally hurting him. Is there anything I can do as a Grandfather? Any help or direction would be much appreciated.
Family Law Attorney
First of all, who has custody of this child? Are the parents still together?
Secondly, Michigan does not typically give standing to Grandparents (unfortunately) which means you won't be able to bring a motion for custody. However, as a grandparent and person, you have the right (and at this point, obligation) to report any abuse to CPS. If you believe there is any type of abuse, be it physical or mental, you need to call CPS. You could potentially bring a motion for guardianship if the parents (both of them) are unable to care for this little boy.
Your question has some vagueness, and therefore, it is impossible to address it completely. I highly suggest your first step is to call CPS and your second step is to contact a local family law attorney with experience in this area. I wish you luck!
***Answering legal questions is a complex matter and cannot be done without further research. My answer here is based solely on the information given in the question and should be taken as informational only. This is not legal advice. My answer here does not indicate that I represent you now, or that I will represent you at a later time. I take clients on a case-by-case basis, and only after initial consultations. ***
Ms Houghten is correct. Grandparents have very, very limited rights as compared to parents, however you certainly have a right and moral obligation to attempt to protect this child from harm.
It will not be appreciated by his mother, nor will it help your relationship with her.
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Family Law Attorney
Yes, there are grandparents rights. However, because the right to parent is considered a fundamental right, courts and the legislature require the showing of substantial harm or another compelling governmental interest. There are other strategies however, including building a relationship with the father and sharing his parenting time. In addition to a petition for guardianship.
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