I need some advice. I am the maternal grandmother of my soon to be 6 yr old granddaughter. I am fighting for custody.

Asked over 1 year ago - Middletown, NY

She lived with me since birth, in 09 I got physical custody of her and the father signed off on it, now 3 yrs later he steps back in and says he wants full sole custody. He played no part in her life for the first 2+ yrs. Her mother is out of the picture and has been pretty much for almost 1 yr. How can the courts take her away from her only home she knows, even after in 09 the father signed over physical custody to me, at only seen her maybe once every 2-3 months. The judge stated since he was her biological father he had rights (which he hasn't exercised in 6 yrs), and since we smoke (but smoked 2 yrs ago when he signed her over) that they had the right to give her to him. She hates him, hates going to his house, my lawyer, law guardian, mothers lawyer and mental health say stay w/me.

Additional information

The judge today granted him sole custody just because he said he wants it. The "father" has rights, but doesn't the child have rights too. She has told the judge she wants to stay with me. For 6 years he has not proven he is a father. He was asked why he didn't visit his daughter on his days off of work, his reply on record was, "his wife likes when I bring her lunch on my days off, so I take her lunch" doesn't some sort of extraordinary circumstances apply to him being absent for the first 2 yrs of her life. and doesn't him singing her over to me in court mean something. He would have never did anything about it until I (the grandmother) took him to court for child support. He was fine with not having anything to do with his child. He, his wife and his mother had lied in court, but my lawyer never brought witnesses in to rebut it because it was minor????? The life of the child I raised for her entire life is not minor. please help !!!!!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Howard A. Schwartz

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . It sounds like you have a good case. The standard is what is in the best interest of the children. Work closely with your lawyer to obtain the best results. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094... more
  2. Maria C. Tebano

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . The biological father has superior rights of custody over a non-parent, so the court can, and will , typically give the father/mother the child back even after they agreed to give up custody. The courts will do what is in the best interests of the child and that is always to be with their parent. A six year olds preference is but only one factor a court will consider when making a custody determination. It sounds like you already went to a hearing and lost. If that is the case, then your only remedy at this point is to take an appeal. It also sounds like perhaps your attorney did not put on a good case against the father. Make sure that you file your notice of appeal within 30-days after you receive the decision and order. Good Luck.

  3. Lawrence Allen Weinreich

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . The judge cannot give custody until after a hearing on the issue. Since you have had custody for many years, that is what is called an extraordinary circumstance and the issue of custody must be decided on bests interests of the child which at this point can only be decided after a hearing. In regard to the father being able to come forward at this time to request custody, that is always a parent's right. However, if he will prevail is another issue. Work with your attorney and the child's lawyer to prove the child's best interests lie with you.

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated. You can also choose a "best answer" if you wish. This is easy to do and greatly appreciated.

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