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I lost custody of my daughter and her 'psychological" father is her legal guardian. how do i regain permanent custody?

New Bedford, MA |

my daughter is currently living with her guardians and is very depressed because she wants to live with me again. since she was removed, she has had problems with lying, stealing and just mild anger. the guardians do not let her come to visit me out of town when they come to my hometown frequently. she asks to go see me and they say no. she is sharing a room with a boy and sh will be 12, i thought that was against the law. the guardians are verbally and emotionally abusive. i ned to get my daughter back to me so we can be a family again. what can i do?

I was made to pay child support when i wnt for a visitation meeting, there is no relationship from the leal guardians to me and my daughter, I always thought if i am paying child support that i would be granted visitation with me in my home town. they will not allow her to be here for a reason that doesn't fully support an old situation that was never documted fficially. the legal guardian siply doesn't like wherei live and therefore, finds it unsuitable.ever since i lost my daughter, i was not allowed to call her, me and the gaurdians had frequent arguments that hs left me emotionally and mentally scarred. we buy my daughter clothes and they take it away from her to go return it back to the store so it can be used on the other three children. i know this my sound trivial but i'm desparate to get my daughter under my car. she was placed wit the guardians over some lies that they told to officials the gaurdian ha a criminal history with a few felonies,

Attorney Answers 4


Consult with an experienced family law attorney, provide them with a complete factual/historical picture and together you'll decide whether it's worth your time/money to file a petition to remove a guardian.

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There is a lot going on here. First, just because you pay child support does not guarantee visitation. They are two separate issues. It is not clear who the guardians are - your headline implies the child's father but the question implies someone else. However, that is not critical - at some point the court deemed you unfit enough to grant guardianship to someone else. Your first step is to have addressed those issues that led to that decision. Unless they have been addressed, corrected and/oror reversed, you will not be successful in ending the guardianship and re-gaining custody. So I hope you have your situation together. As for visitation separate from the issue of custody, the guardian calls the shots if no visitation was previously ordered by the court. So, you will want to file a motion or modification with the court seeking visitation - what it appears you are looking for is unsupervised at your home. You will have to convince the judge you are fit for that and that it is in your daughter's best interest. remember that ultimately, the judge will decide by what is in the best interest of the child, and not of you or the guardian. The room sharing sounds bad, but that by itself doesn't get you custody back if the issues that led to the guardianship haven't been fixed. It could me someone completely new is made guardian. At 12, your daughter may be heard - you should ask for a family service interview of her so her wishes can be heard, but they will not be the deciding factor. Good luck.

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1 comment

Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich


When you file the petition for modification to include or amend the visitation plan, you can also ask for an attorney to be appointed to represent your daughter.


I'm sorry you are going through what appears to be a tough situation. First things first: child support and custody-visitation matters need to be separated in your mind. We can't "buy" our time with children, as the hallmark principle is what is in "the best interest" of the children. As to the relationship between you and the guardians, as difficult as this must be, we have to think about what is in the "best interest" of your daughter. I can't fathom a 12 year-old girl having to share a room with a boy (you haven't mentioned his age), but there must be better living arrangements than that. If I were you, I would build a campaign based on why you have a better situation for your daughter...schooling, after-school care, environment, etc. and get to court for more time. Start with supervised, then unsupervised visitation, overnights, and build from there. You may need to consult with a lawyer for more specifics and a solid plan. Good luck.

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I am unclear as to how you lost custody of your child. Was DCF involved? and Who are the guardians?

A guardianship is generally created due to the unfitness of the parent, so my question is what was the unfitness and does it impact your relationship with the guardians. Also, does the "unfitness" continue to this date? I am unclear why the guardians are giving you a hard time...are they related to you and is there "history" here?

If you are currently "fit". you should get back into court to request visitation through a modification (if there is nothing in writing or if there is something written that allows visits, to enforce it).

At 12, the court will want to hear from the child, but her wishes are not the controlling factor. You may request the court to appoint a guardian ad litem or een an attorney for the child to make sure her rights are protected.

Good Luck!

Valerie Semenst @ 781.383.1940

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