Do I have the right to stop letting a grandparent from seeing my son, without them going to file for grandparents rights?

Asked about 3 years ago - Green Bay, WI

I have recently found out my ex's family has been contacting lawyers to try to get custody of my son. My son's dad has been locked up in prison for two years, he gets out in October of this year. His parents take my son once a week and that is if they even have the time. If they take them I have to work around their schedule. They take him when it works for them and at their convienence. I found out they had their teenage son driving my son in his truck without a license, they have taken him to Michigan without my permission and they never contact me by phone and its all through texts messages. Currently there are NO grandparents rights in place. I dont know what grounds they have to try to take my son away. But i sat in a homeless shelter pregnant with my son and they had no contact.

Additional information

I have been raising my son on my own since he was born with no help from the grandparents. WE WERE NEVER MARRIED. I have been out of the homeless shelter for almost two years and have been living in the same place since. I also have a job (same one for almost a year now) and going to school to be a surgical technologist. His father cant provide a stable environment for our son or one that is safe. Is my son's grandparents able to go for grandparents rights if i dont let them see my son anymore?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Tajara Dommershausen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . You have the right to make decisions for your child on who sees the child and on what conditions. It is unclear as to whether you were married. If you are divorced, they have no statutory basis to go for any placement. If you weren't, they can ask for visitation under the grandparents rights statute; however, they have to show that what you think is best for the child is not in the child's best interest (and poverty is not an allowable reason). I think that allowing the child to be in a car with an unlicensed driver and taking the child out of state without permission, would make the court question their judgment.

    In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more
  2. R. S. Missimer

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . I guess I see it differently. Grandparents have rights under state statute when they have had a parental role in the child's life. So, if that is true, then it doesn't matter if you were married or not, or who did what and so on. The court protects existing parental rights whether it be for grandparents or parents (married or otherwise).

    You should talk to an attorney face to face, and let them ask the questions they need to figure this out.

    Good luck with your situation.

  3. Karyn T. Missimer

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Both of the above answers are good, but some more thoughts: Yes, if you do not want the grandparents to obtain rights to the child, their chances for success decline if they are no longer seeing the child/part of the child's life.

    On the other hand, they are more likely to sue for grandparents' rights if you do not allow them access to the child.

    It is a Catch 22.

    Good luck!

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