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Can I get legal guardianship of my 14 year old grandson if the mother agrees and the father doesn't?

New York, NY |

My daughter is willing to sign over guardianship of my grandson to me, but the father will not. The father's green card was taken from him and resides in the US under a work permit. The father is mentally and abusive to his son and did not start paying child support until the court ordered him to, about 4 years ago. He has lied on his documents that his son lives with him, which he does not. It is a matter of record he pays child support to the court. The father is looking to have his son live with him in order to obtain a green card and remain in the US. When his son visits him there is no supervision, he is poorly fed and left to fend for himself while the father works and leaves his son with his sister who is illegally in the US. I can provide a better life for my grandson.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You would have to go to court and get a court order. You need to speak to a family law attorney to see if you have sufficient grounds to do so. You may also wish to speak to an immigration attorney, because I believe that the father is under a misapprehension that having his son live with him will qualify him for a green card. I do some immigration law, and I am not aware of any basis for adjustment predicated on having a minor US citizen child living with you.

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******

  2. Consult with an exoerienced family law attorney to help you. You will need to show that the father is not qualified to have custody and you are a resource. The fsther being untruthful is helpful. Write up a history of the. Father and the relationship with the child which will be useful to your lawyer.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

  3. If the boy is a US citizen ... this is not an immigration question and you should consult a family law attorney..

    If the boy is not a US citizen, you should consult an immigration attorney immediately.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

  4. More details are needed to adequately assess your situation - for instance whether the child already resides with you and if so, for how long. You ultimately would need to prove that the father has either legally abandoned the child or persistently neglected him. I'd also advise the carrot-and-stick approach - advise the mother to file a violation case against him and look to cut a deal on that case if he agrees to custody/guardianship to you. In any event, you should schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

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