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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

Posted

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.

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F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

I agree. Until the boy is 21 dad can't get any benefits. He might be thinking that Cancellation of Removal is an option ... I see the family successfully resisting and informing the IJ of his behaviour.

Posted

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 www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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Posted

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.

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Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

My understanding was that the boy was a US citizen and that dad incorrectly thought having the boy live with him would enable the dad to adjust his status. My thought was that if they could make it clear to dad that this was not the case, he might be willing to consent to the guardianship. If the boy is not a citizen and the questioner is seeking a guardianship then I agree that they should not only consult with an immigration attorney, but one who is specifically experienced in adjusting based on special immigrant juvenile status to determine if the child qualifies. This involves both immigration and state family law issues.

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

Hi Heather. I too thought the boy was in the US ... but wasn't so sure of his citizenship status ... there is no way that a 14 year old US citizen can confer greencard benefits on his father. To that concept, I completely agree with you ... dad needs to be educated as to the futile concept of getting status from the boy.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Well, I'm never 100% sure with immigration. My immigration practice is limited to SIJ work and some alien relative work, and obviously immigration is a much larger and more complex area than that:)

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

None-the-less, you demonstrated good insight. Have a good weekend.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Thanks! You too.

Posted

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.

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