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How do I get custody of my grandchild who is being neglected by her mother?

Rochester, WA |

My son and girlfriend had a child almost 2 yrs ago. They split from each other over 6 mths. ago and since then the mother has went back to using drugs and continually neglects my grandchild. She cannot keep a job or a place to raise her child and leaves her child where ever she can drop the toddler off. She lost her first child to its grandmother for the same reason a few years ago. My son is not emotionally or physically ready to be a father and I am willing to take the responsibily. The mother will not give up her child easily. I have tried to stay neutral for my grandchild but I do not see this situation getting any better.

Attorney Answers 1


Unfortunately, you're in a spot where you have to decide how much money you have to hire private counsel and force a nonparental custody action under RCW 26.10 (alleging each parent to be unsuitable to assume custody) versus calling in an abuse allegation to DSHS and having them become involved in investigation of the same. In the former, you, as petitioner, would be seeking custody, but there's a financial price to be paid via hiring counsel. In the latter, you may instigate an investigation, but there's no guarantee that DSHS will remove the child from the mother's care and/or place that child with you. Added to this is the fact that once DSHS gets involved, it doesn't separate itself so easily from a case. Any custodian would be under court order to comply with DSHS, and the goal in its involvement is usually the eventual reunification of child and parent.

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